In this assignment you will prepare for your first scientist interview by confirming your meeting and writing the pre-interview notes.
Before beginning this assignment, each team member should read:
Contact Your Scientist
Email your scientist reminding the scientist of date, time and media of the meeting. Scientist are from across the country and live in different time zones. Giving the time to scientists that are not in the eastern time zone, give the time in the scientist time zone followed by the time in the eastern time in parenthesis. For example when addressing a scientist that lives in the central time zone give the time like this:
4 pm CDT (5 pm EDT)
Using this format will help avoid any confusion.
If the meeting by Zoom then create the Zoom meeting and include the link to the Zoom meeting in the email. If the meeting is by phone then confirm the phone number in the email. If the meeting is in-person then confirm the location in the email.
Prepare Pre-interview Notes
You will conduct a semi-structured interview with your scientist/client and NOT a Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA). I have learned from experience that most scientists are have difficulty complying with a CTA because they are too focused on their app idea.
Team Interview Roles
First decide on the format of your interview and the roles that team members will assume during the interview. You’ll want to one member to host the meeting, perhaps your team’s product owner. In addition, the team should have at least one but better two members taking notes. You may want to have different team members ask questions in specific topics.
Finally as a team, generate a list of questions that you expect to ask your scientists. The questions should be open ended but address specific aspects of the app and project. The first question I like to ask is:
Please tell us about your app idea?
I ask this question first because this is what the scientist is focused on, so it is good to get it out of the way and then you can ask more focused questions. The question is very general and gives the scientist room to give an introduction to the app domain and general ideas about the app.
Some specific questions I like to ask:
- Who are the users of your app? Be prepared to have follow up questions to about each user type.
- What data should the app collect?
- When or where will the app be used?
- What information or content does the app show the user?
- Do you have any documents such as flyers, forms, or spreadsheets that you can share with us? If the scientist has a paper forms that are currently used to observations then these can be invaluable assistance in your design process. Encourage the scientist to email these documents.
Write Pre-interview Document
Now that you have a list of questions, you can write the Pre-interview Notes. It should contain the following information in approximately in this order:
- Scientist/Client Names
- Meeting Date and Time
- Meeting location or media
- List of team members and interview roles
- List of questions in expected order to be asked
Submit and Due Date
The Pre-interview Document should submitted on canvas by the end class.
The pre-interview notes will be evaluated for timeliness and completeness. In particular, does the document have:
- Scientist name
- Meeting date, time and media
- Identification of team members’ interview roles
- Most important: appropriate interview questions
Conducting the Interview
When you conduct your interview, you will first address your client by voicing their name or asking how to pronounce their name. Thank your scientist for meeting and ask if they are ready for the interview. Then you should introduce your team members.
During the meeting, speakers should have their videos on because it assists your scientist to understand your words. Also the video helps the scientist to associate the voice with the speaker. Your team is large and the video will help the scientist to recognize the individual team members. If the media for your interview does not have video, then before asking questions, you should state your name, so that your scientist recognizes a change in speaker and can begin learning your voice.
When you conclude the interview:
- Summarize the major findings of the interview.
- Ask your scientists if they have any questions or comments that they like to make.
- Tell your scientists that you will email them a summary of the meeting describing your understanding of the app.
- Confirm your date, time and media for your second interview with your scientist.
- Thank your scientists for the interview.
Prepare for the Next Assignment
For your next assignment, you write an App Description Document that you will present to the class and email your scientist. Read: