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Writing Interview Guides

From unstructured to highly structured, interview guides in Handrail facilitate collaborative collection of both qualitative and quantitative data.

Introduction to Interview Guides in Handrail

Open Interview vs Structured Interview

The Components of an Interview Guide

Questions and the Question Library

Using Your Completed Interview Guide

 

Introduction to Interview Guides in Handrail

An interview guide is used to facilitate collaborative research sessions with participants. As you are writing an interview guide, you can preview the guide at any time to see what it will look like during a session. During a session, other team members may join the session to take their own notes directly in the interview guide. Once the session is complete, all notes from all team members are automatically aggregated and displayed on the Results page for that study.

 

View while EDITING an interview guide:

 

View while PREVIEWING an interview guide:

 

 

Open Interview vs Structured Interview

When it comes to conducting interviews in Handrail, there are two types of studies available:

  • Open Interview
    • Allows you to collect only qualitative data.
    • You can add topics to the guide but not individual questions. You can take notes topic by topic but not question by question.
    • This type of study is appropriate for unstructured or semi-structured interviews, because you can add topics to the guide but not individual questions.
  • Structured Interview
    • Allows you to collect a combination of qualitative and quantitative data.
    • You can add individual questions to the guide and take notes question by question.
    • This type of study is appropriate for more structured interviews, such as usability tests or any interview that requires asking the same set of questions to each participant.

The Components of an Interview Guide

Interview guides include the following components:

  • Optional Introduction — A place to capture instructions or a script for what to cover at the start of each session.
  • Topics — One or more sections in the guide that correspond to topics to be covered during the interview.
    • Topic title
    • Topic details — This is a flexible area to capture anything the research team may need to reference about the topic during each session. Key questions, things to observe, facilitator notes, etc.
    • Questions (only available in STRUCTURED INTERVIEW studies) — There are multiple question types for both qualitative and quantitative data collection. You may also reuse questions from previous studies.
  • Optional Conclusion — A place to capture instructions or a script for wrapping up the interview.

 

View of a fresh guide for a Structured Interview study (with access to the question library):

 

Questions and the Question Library

If using a Structured Interview study, you have access to the Question Library when writing your interview guide. This allows you to include individual questions of various types within the topics in your guide.

 

The Question Library has the following question types available:

  • Text Entry — Open-ended question for capturing qualitative data
  • Multiple Choice — Radio buttons for when the participant must select one option
  • Multiple Select — Checkboxes allowing for multiple options to be selected
  • Rating — Standard rating scales (e.g. scale of 1–5) 
  • Task Success (observed) — 0, 1, 2 scale (Unsuccessful, With Difficulty, Success)
  • SUS — Auto-generates questionnaire with ability to use a custom term

 

The Question Library also provides:

  • Example questions — pre-built questions that can be used as templates
  • Previous questions — search for and reuse questions that have been used in other studies

 

Using Your Completed Interview Guide

For details on using a completed interview guide to conduct sessions, view the article Conducting Interview Sessions.

 

 

Need more information or have questions we didn't cover here? Get in touch!