Week 2 tutorial class started with a 30 minutes session reading some interview transcripts and at the same time identifying 4 elements in it: Motivation, Needs, Interests and Frustrations that we can find in the interviewee’s responses.

So, i was assigned to Interview Transcript #2 and in quick summary, the interviewer was asking the correspondent about his most recent vacation and why it was different than conventional type of vacation, as well as some details about the trip, ie: duration, travel company and the activities done during which. Other than talking about the most recent trip, the interviewer also asks about the correspondent’s other trips in the past that’s relevant to the context of the questions. I was able to identify some of the correspondent’s motivation, needs, interests and frustrations, then each of which  were transferred into discrete yellow post-it notes.


In groups, of 4 students, we would then try to group our yellow post-it notes into sub categories. The groups were then further analysed to describe a common thread, which was expressed in a sentence and written on blue post-it notes. And here’s what the final Affinity Diagram look like:


How did this exercise help you build empathy with prospective users?

This exercise forces us to keep open eyes (and ears – during the face to face interview) on the correspondent’s verbal and hidden signals of motivations, interests, needs and frustrations. Because after all, these are the things that we have to look out for at the end of the session. Empathy is the ability to be sense other people’s emotions and understand other people’s feelings, to be in other people’s shoes.

How did the clustering of information help you to understand user needs?

The clustering of information helps to identify and eventually, group similar needs / frustrations that the interview correspondents share.

What was difficult or challenging with the technique?

The difficulty about the technique is firstly, having to be sensitive enough to identify the needs, motivations, interests and frustrations inherent in the interviewee’s responses. Besides that, the technique also require a keen analytic skill to be able to cluster similar topics together. The interviewer is also required to be able to identify suitable solutions for the explicit problems and even foresee a potential problem that may not yet be expressed yet at the moment, but may become apparent in the near future. This technique is also potentially divisive, because everyone has their own opinions and way of thinking. So, to reach a compromise would require a good leader or team moderator who can meet the voices of every team members equally.

How would you do it better next time?

I would improve it better by making sure every correspondents get the same interview questions, so as to ensure a level starting point for every responses.