User interviews are an important generative method for UX. Generative methods (like interviews and focus groups) produce knowledge. In contrast, evaluative methods (like a usability test of a draft design) test hypotheses. When interviews are done well, we learn about our users’:
- mental models
This knowledge helps us to build good products and services and address real user needs rather than imaginary ones. Taking the time to speak to people who might use your product or service (before you start designing) can teach you things you might otherwise never uncover, even if you run regular usability tests.
However, when done poorly, interviews lead to bad design decisions...