Empathy & Customer Discovery

User Interview Canvas

Use this canvas to plan structured user interviews that will help you to gain valuable insights about your design challenge or solution.

Video tutorial

Why do you use it?

Customer interviews are an incredibly valuable way to get a much deeper understanding of the problem you're trying to solve, from the perspective of the people you're designing for, super quickly.

When to use it:

There are two key contexts in which customer interviews are used as part of the design process. The first is discovery interviews, where as part of your empathy and research work you're trying to gather as much information as you can about your design challenge. The second is feedback interviews, where you're looking for customer feedback on something you've already developed - typically a solution idea or prototype.

How to Use it:

Fill out each section of the canvas to plan your own interview questions, aiming for at least two questions in each section.

  • Exploratory questions: Maybe counter-intuitively, this interview structure doesn't start by introducing your main idea, whether that's the design challenge you're researching or the prototype you want feedback on. Instead, it invites you to start with quite general questions about the topic or context you're working in. The reason for this is that as soon as you introduce your main idea, you've narrowed the frame of the conversation - and potentially missed out on some of the insights you can get by keeping things broad to begin with.
  • Current State: Here you can start to get a little more specific, and ask about your customers' current motivations, challenges and behaviours when it comes to the topic or context you're looking at.
  • The Idea: This is where you'll finally introduce the main idea of the interview. That might mean showing the customer the prototype you've built, outlining the problem definition you've landed on, or letting them know the specific design challenge you're exploring. In this part of the canvas you won't be planning 'questions' so much as a script for what you'll share about your key idea.
  • Feedback: Lastly, the feedback section is where you'll look for responses from your customers to the key idea you've just introduced. In a feedback interview, that means asking for feedback on the output you've shown them, asking questions like 'what do you like about this?' and 'what could be improved?'. In a discovery interview, this is where you might ask questions like 'what kinds of ideas have you seen before in this space?' or 'what features do you think an effective solution would need to have?'.

View over 40+  design and innovation tools and techniques at our Workshop Playshop library.

VIEW WORKSHOP PLAYSHOP

View over 40+  design and innovation tools and techniques at our Workshop Playshop library.

VIEW WORKSHOP PLAYSHOP

User Interview Canvas

View over 40+  design and innovation tools and techniques at our Workshop Playshop library.

VIEW WORKSHOP PLAYSHOP