Debriefing with your team post-session

You’ve got through your first user interview, nice one! The work isn’t quite done yet, though.

A very important, but oftentimes ignored, part of user interviews is debriefing with your notetakers and observers immediately after the session. During the debrief, your observers and notetakers can share what they’ve seen or learned from the session while the context is fresh. This is helpful for two reasons:

  1. It gives you and your team members a quick sense of whether or not you align on some of the observations and gives you the chance to discuss this
  2. It allows you and your observers to consolidate your memories from the session, which means you’ll all leave the session with a vivid mental picture of the highlights and key learnings from each participant. 

Keep in mind though, some of the highlights that people share in a debrief session could be considered more as opinions and interpretations than actual observations. Keep a note of these as there could be valuable insights, but also make sure you can differentiate between these opinions or interpretations and observations further down the track. 

If you don’t have notetakers then it’s equally valuable to have a quiet moment to reflect on what you just observed by yourself.

Here are some debrief questions we recommend:

  • What were your highlights of the session?
  • What was surprising and/or unexpected?
  • Are there any questions you think should have been asked? What?

You may want to consider a very simple template to capture these debrief moments. One way to do this with Reframer is to add a final ‘task(s)’ onto the guide that allows you to capture your debrief. Be sure to tag the comments here to ensure they don’t get confused with actual participant comments.

It’s also good practice for you to ask for any feedback on your moderation as well. Having your team members make suggestions on anything you can improve in the session (i.e. how you asked the questions or set up the environment) will help you become a better moderator.