Comfortable, accessible, safe spaces are required to conduct interviews. Interviewers should consider the physical or digital environment for their interview and check for barriers to participation including time the interview is scheduled, technology required (web conferencing) to join a meeting, costs or other hindrances to physical meeting spaces (transportation, parking, wayfinding), and other signs or signals in the environment that send welcoming or unwelcoming messages. Appropriate seating should be available.
Interviewees should be instructed about any materials that the organizers might wish them to bring (e.g. screen shots, products of their work, writing utensils).
Interviewers need their scripts, questions, and any “props” necessary for leading the discussion. Prompts might include images or other materials for participants to focus on or react to (e.g. screen shots, card sorts).
Interview notetakers may need video or audio recording equipment, technology (e.g., laptop, phone, tablet) or notepaper to record notes and impressions. In some cases, pre-prepared notes might be used (e.g. a checklist of common responses with space for new ideas or suggestions). Structured, fill-in responses for notes can speed up notetaking; however, notetakers should take care that prepared notetaking tools allow for departures from the expected and do not prematurely “route” interviewee feedback into expected channels or categories.
If video or audio recordings are made; you may wish to transcribe the conversation. Transcription is time-consuming and can be costly and is not always necessary for augmenting notes taken during an interview. No tools are required to conduct interviews. Interviews can be conducted face-to-face, by phone, or by video conference. Should you wish to code transcribed conversations, specialized software such as NVivo and MAXQDA are options; likewise transcriptions can be coded using colored highlighters on a printed or digital version of the transcript, and a spreadsheet. Specialized software can be pricey and can have a high barrier to entry for use.