Method overview

People generally enjoy telling stories about their experiences.

A good interview helps you take advantage of this natural inclination in order to gather valuable information. Interviewing gives you an opportunity to speak directly with the people who can help you make informed decisions. Through these interviews you gain a better sense of people and their views of the world by subtly eliciting their true feelings, desires, struggles, and opinions through a few carefully crafted questions. An additional sensitivity to the unplanned and unscripted aspects of an interview can allow for equally illuminating discoveries.

A good interviewer needs to be attuned to the interviewee to know when to probe for more information, when to redirect the conversation, and how to parse what is meant from what is said. In other words, one must, as journalist Lawrence Grobel said, “converse like a talk show host, think like a writer, understand subtext like a psychiatrist, [and] have an ear like a musician.”

The benefits of this method

  • Helps you gain information directly.
  • Challenges your preconceptions.
  • Deepens your empathy for others.
  • Builds credibility with stakeholders.


Quick guide

  • Identify a topic for investigation.
  • Prepare your questions and recording equipment.
  • Determine your criteria for selecting interviewees.
  • Identify the people you will interview.
  • Set a time and place to meet them.
  • Introduce yourself and the purpose. Obtain consent.
  • Start with easy questions, then draw out specifics.
  • Listen carefully and take good notes.
  • Thank each participant.

Helpful hints

  • Try to choose a location with minimal distractions.
  • Don’t put words into the interviewee’s mouth.
  • Resist the urge to conduct an analysis at this stage.

Combining LUMA methods into design recipes

The methods in the LUMA System are great on their own, but they are really powerful when combined into design recipes. Just like when you combine ingredients to make a tasty meal, you can also combine design methods to address challenges such as improving workplace culture or uncovering customer insights.

An example of a recipe from LUMA Workplace®:

Want to learn more about LUMA methods?