Interviewing End-Users? Remember to SCREAM…

Oct 05, 2014

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Inspired by Steve Portigal’s excellent Interviewing Users book and the unexpected opportunity to do some field research in a domain that I wasn’t too familiar with I came up with a quick mnemonic to keep interviews productive when minimum prep is possible.

SCREAM

Sequence – What tasks do you do?  What order are things done in? What is the first thing that you do after arriving at work?

Comparisons – How does the job compare now that you have this new system? Is this shift like the day shift? Is today like yesterday?

Relationships – Who do you talk with the most?  Do you have anything to do with the other team? Who gets involved if there is a problem?

Exceptions – When is the job non-routine?  What sort of things happen to upset the usual flow?

Amounts – Is this a busy time for you? When is the job less or more busy?

Memories – Can you remember what happened? Do you have any examples of that?

Ideally you will want to have more time to prepare and a clearer idea of what you need to achieve, but for those interviewing situations where you are trying to scope a domain or get a feel for the breadth of issues that may be relevant this mnemonic could be a useful reminder.  It may also be useful for those just starting out with field research.

Comments welcome!

 

 

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