What it is
Intercept interviews are short interviews with users following a transaction. The interview aims to capture the user’s thoughts on a service while the interaction is still fresh in their mind.
Intercept interviews take place in service settings, e.g. a police station, post-office. Researchers often ask a set of standard open-ended questions for all participants.
Why it’s useful
Intercept interviews are a useful way of surveying the opinions of a broad sample of users in a short time. They can help test initial findings (or ‘hunches’) that have emerged from other research (e.g. ethnographies, in-depth interviews or quantitative analysis).
When to do it
Intercept interviews are useful at the beginning of a project, in the prepare and understand phases, to gather existing feelings and experiences of a service. They’re also useful later on to test ideas for prototypes.
How to do it
- As with other forms of user research (e.g. ethnography, in-depth interviews, focus groups) you need to think about sample size and ethics (consent forms, incentives, information sheets).
- Choose an appropriate location (or locations) to conduct your intercept interviews and talk to the managers who run them.
- For intercept interviews you’ll need a discussion guide. Keep this concise – on average you’re hoping for 5-10 minutes of a participant’s time, so you don't want too many questions.
- Stanford d school has a guide on preparing for interviews (PDF 292 KB).
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