Blog Post 4: First User Interviews

Blog Post 4

This week, we started the drawn-out process of interviewing people for HowToCollege. We were supposed to get five interviews. I got three. As soon as I started the process, I confronted a certain difficulty: that of finding participants. How were we supposed to do it?

I reached an awkward conclusion. I emailed random people who I knew a little bit, I asked people in my dorm, and I asked friends-of-friends. Getting people in person had the best success rate. People don’t tend to respond to emails that aren’t urgent. Also, the people that I did get were more willing to participate when I bought them things – though some of them didn’t want coffee. I had to be willing to be flexible and get someone a coke (note: I hope that I & E will cover the price of a vending machine soda). I will keep emailing people this week, but I know that the extra interviews are going to have to come from somewhere, and it’s going to be tough to get them. I have reached out to a professor about how he finds participants for his research, but he did not respond. This leaves me at a loss. I feel like there should be a better, easier method to get study participants at Davidson. I plan to ask Erika about this.

This week, I intend to do two more interviews (I brought a friend home for Thanksgiving), and do my writeups for the last few interviews. I also need to email more participants.

I’m pretty concerned about how this schedule is going to work: it seems pretty packed.

I hope to discuss this in our next meeting. Another note: all of my interviews so far are type 1, not type 2. No one seems interested in conducting a long interview session. That’s going to be a struggle we have to address later on. Maybe we could hold more focus groups.

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