[Early Stage Startup Founder] How to Talk to Your Users and What You Should Build

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In mid-2019 I spent a week preparing for user research interviews for https://copywriterpro.ai I wanted to convince myself that I could talk with people outside my comfort zone. So I met three ideal customers at a restaurant. Unfortunately, things were awkward. I failed to interact with them properly. After that interview, I talked face-to-face (e-meeting) with more than 260+ random people from the Internet and did 15 in-person interviews. 5 Steps I followed to overcome my awkwardness: 1. I set up a practice interview with some friends. I went through the same process of my actual interview, such as giving them directions and getting as much information out of them. It wasn’t too tricky because I already knew them. It was fun and smooth. However, it would be more difficult if you had to do this for strangers. Although I sometimes forget to take notes. Be careful about asking questions & taking notes at the same time in an interview. There’s a good chance that you’ll have a hard time managing both activities effectively. 2. When I’m interviewing a new user, I make the process smoother by researching the person beforehand. If you know something about the person before speaking to them, the conversation will go more smoothly. Even if you don’t know anything about that person, start by making friendly small talk. Then explain what your interview is for and why you want their feedback on the topic. 3. You don’t need to take up all the space in any conversation. Letting your interviewees talk will help you learn more about their challenges and needs. It will help you build a better product or service to address them. I give them space to talk about their pain point. 4. The best questions have the following: who, what, when, where, why, and how. When you interview someone, asking them more open-ended questions will allow you to get better information. Don’t just ask straightforward questions that can be answered in only a few words. 6. Don’t stop asking questions until you have every answer you need. I asked open-ended questions to understand my users’ needs better. Would love to know your experience how you deal with this situation.


Proma Nautiyal
Great pointers, Nafis! Knowing about the person beforehand helps a ton in ice-breaking and also gives you a clear idea about what to expect from them. And having them do all the talking eases the process of collecting unbiased information easy...