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A gathering of interested parties that works towards answering a defined set of questions

Unlike a workshop, in which a collaborative approach is employed, an interview will typically have a small number of stakeholders, often just a single one.

The most effective interviews usually involve three participants:

  • Interviewee: The stakeholder whose input is being sought
  • Interviewer: The an information architect who will ask the questions
  • Scribe: Someone familiar with the goal of the interview that can transcribe what the interviewee says

The more people that attend the interview the less effective it will become. Having multiple interviewees usually just results in some of them being silent. Multiple interviewers can lead to confusion and lack of focus.

It is extremely difficult to take effective notes if you are the interviewer. Many interviews will reveal unexpected information, if they don't then you should either expand your technique or consider doing a survey instead. Most interviewees are distracted by any audio or video recording that is done, so it is best to transcribe the interview. Having a specialised "scribe" whose role is to write down as much as possible of what is said is an effective way to record the key points. In most situations the role of "scribe" and "interviewer" should be interchanged from one interview to the next.

Interviews range from the purely informal to completely structured. It is important that the goal of the interview is clear to all participants. At the beginning of the session it is common for the interviewer to provide an outline of the goals, often the interviewee will not be clear about the project and its aims.

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The following pages link to here: Aspect, Gathering Data, Sampling Theory, Workshop

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