Applicable stages: design, code, test, and deployment.
Personnel needed for the evaluation:
Usability experts: 1
Software developers: 0
Users: 2
Usability issues covered:
Can be conducted remotely: No Can obtain quantitative data: No


In this technique, human factors engineers formulate questions about the product based on the kind of issues of interest. Then they interview representative users to ask them these questions in order to gather information desired. It is good at obtaining detailed information as well as information that can only be obtained from the interactive process between the interviewer and the user.

In an evaluation interview, an interviewer reads the questions to the user, the user replies verbally, and the interviewer records those responses. The methods of interviewing include unstructured interviewing and structured interviewing.

Unstructured interviewing methods are used during the earlier stages of usability evaluation. The objective of the investigator at this stage is to gather as much information as possible concerning the user's experience. The interviewer does not have a well-defined agenda and is not concerned with any specific aspects of the system. The primary objective is to obtain information on procedures adopted by users and on their expectations of the system.

Structured interviewing has a specific, predetermined agenda with specific questions to guide and direct the interview. Structured interviewing is more of an interrogation than unstructured interviewing, which is closer to a conversation.

When holding an interview, the following guidance should be followed:

  1. J. Nielsen "Usability Engineering" pp.209-214, Academic Press, 1993.