At GitLab, everyone can contribute, which applies to UX Research, too. Product Managers and Product Designers regularly speak with users to validate the problem spaces and solutions they are working on and gain inspiration for what could come next. Asking the right questions and listening actively is crucial in these conversations to get the information you need.
The Interview Carousel is a lightweight, fun way to practice and enhance user interviewing skills for GitLab team members. Everyone can be a great interviewer, however, we are not necessarily born as one. It takes a little bit of practice, and that’s what the Interview Carousel is for.
The Interview Carousel is a live (remote) event where team members get to speak with 3 to 4 users each. Imagine a speed-dating style setup where you speak with one user for 15 minutes and then switch to the next one. There are small breaks in between to avoid fatigue.
As an Interview Carousel participant, you choose what you'd like to discuss with users. You can bring a prototype or talk about a specific item you are working (or planning to work) on. Alternately, you can simply learn more about that person, their job, and their life. Remember, it’s only 15 minutes per person, which goes by quickly. We aim to match you with users that represent the persona(s) of your stage.
There is a 20-minute video that you must watch before the event that includes tips and tricks on how to be a better interviewer. As you are watching the video, note the 2 or 3 things that you want to focus on and practice during the Interview Carousel.
Make sure to draft a discussion guide (internal only) for your session and share it for feedback with the UX Researcher who is hosting the Interview Carousel. This helps to ensure that participants won’t answer the same questions again and again.
You should set aside about 1 hour to watch the training video and create your discussion guide.
To make the most out of the event, we strongly encourage you to record your interviews and upload them to Dovetail. The UX Researcher hosting the Interview Carousel will watch the recordings and provide you with individual feedback on your interviewing skills.
The next Interview Carousel is planned for October 2022. If you are interested in joining, fill out the interest form.
Below are some verbatims that GitLab team members who previously participated in an Interiew Carousel shared about their experience joining.
"This process made me more aware of ways that questions can be leading and ways to avoid it, especially in follow-up questions (it's hard!)."
"The video material was really good and helped to clarify my goals for every interview since then."
"This was the first opportunity I came across in my entire career as a designer to get my interviewing style assessed and get feedback."
"Valuable feedback! I usually don't notice I'm asking leading questions, so it's great to have it called out."
Do you have any example discussion guides that I can learn from? You can review previous Interview Carousel issues that have discussion guides linked. There is also a collection of discussion guides written by the UX Research team that may serve as inspiration.
How are transitions between interviews handled? The UX Researcher sets up Zoom breakout rooms and assigns team members and participants to the rooms. The break out rooms will close after 15 minutes. Once everyone is back in the main room, the UX Researcher will re-assign participants.
Who moderates the session? The UX Researcher moderates the Interview Carousel and provides a general introduction at the beginning that includes confirming participants' consent to record the session and provides details regarding the incentive.