Customer Interviews

Customer Interviews

Recipe step number
Day 5, Activity 1
Share the prototype with customers & learn from reactions
Reading Time
6 mins

Recipe: Design Sprint (Day 5)

  1. Customer Interviews
  2. Learnings

Materials - Access to Mural (digital whiteboard) - Microsoft Teams (for group video calls)

Related Mural templates: Design Sprint complete 5-day canvas

More resources - links etc go here


Why do this activity? This is what it’s all about. Learning in days, not months. Getting realistic reactions, and not being committed to the end solution. It puts the team in a position to invest (or stop investing) in the solution.

Watch this video, from the creators of the Design Sprint, which shows a real example of how an interview is conducted.

Key Tips

Tips from the Sprint Book - pages 201-215
  • 5-Act Interview – these are the typical stages for each interview:
    • Friendly Welcome – the interviewee in friendly way so they are comfortable and open. There are no “wrong answers” and their input is helpful.
    • Context – before introducing the solution (prototype) you’ll want to understand their context on the overall topic.
    • Prototype – introduce the solution (prototype) and ask them to think out loud as they interact with it
    • Tasks and Nudges – since the prototype may have dead ends and loose edges, interviewers can nudge customers to check out or do tasks
    • Debrief (team) – after the interview, each observer can place their color-coded notes on the collective board, identify any key points
Key tips/learnings from Advance Concepts™
  • Have someone responsible for “tech”. Be sure everything is working the day before and before the interview itself.
  • Having two interviewers helps. We like assigning one as “primary” and the other as “support”. Support can capture notes live and communicate with the team of observers if needed.
  • In the observing room, have one facilitator/guide lead the debrief after each interview. They’ll also need to prepare the team on how to capture notes (color-coded stickies, observations not interpretations, verbatim quotes everywhere possible).

How to do this activity

Allow 45 mins for each interview (4-6 hours in total)

Watch this video from Design Sprint agency AJ&Smart for a step-by-step guide of the entire customer interview process.

Step 1: Write an interview script

  • Prepare a rough outline of topics and questions to ask each customer.
  • Think about the answers you need to get from customers, and which questions will help dig out those answers.
  • Be aware of confirmation bias (a tendency to search for information that confirms our existing beliefs) and be careful not to ask questions that lead towards a particular answer.
  • This "script" will ensure you cover consistent topics for each customer you interview

Step 2: Schedule (target) customers

Step 3: Conduct the interviews

  • At least 2 team members should join the interview
    • One primary interviewer to conduct the conversation
    • Another to capture notes and act as a support
  • The 5-Act Interview:
    • Act 1: Friendly welcome - 2 mins
    • Act 2: Context questions - 5 min
    • Act 3: Introduce the prototype - 2 mins
    • Act 4: Give the customer tasks (and watch their behaviour and reactions) - 20+ mins
    • Act 5: Debrief questions - 5+ mins

Step 4: Capture reactions & comments