Intercept Interviews

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Definition

Intercept Interviews are designed to increase understanding and dialogue through a series of quick questions that take no more than 10 to 15 minutes of dialogue.

Resources

TorDev Intercept Interview Questions

This is a brief guide for intercept interviews that occurred at the Tor Developer Meeting. These questions were utilized for interviews that occurred in the moment – chance meetings, introductions, etc.

Dharamsala Intercept Interview Questions

This is a brief guide for intercept interviews that occurred in Dharamsala. This is a much shorter guide than the Tor Dev meeting as the opportunities for intercepts were not as high as the large number of pre-scheduled interviews.

Overview

A key component of human-centered design is to meet people where they are and be open to unexpected encounters with relevant stakeholders. Intercept interviews are a tool that prepares you for a quick and meaningful dialogue when time is limited to 10 to 15 minutes and/or when you have an unexpected encounter with a relevant stakeholder. The human-centered design process requires flexibility and adaptation and intercept interviews equip you with tools to engage in quick, meaningful dialogue despite constraints.  Intercept interviews are a short series of questions that aim to get at the core of something you desire to understand from a particular stakeholder.

Why

Interview intercepts are an important tool that can be adapted to varying scenarios such as unexpected encounters, limited time with many subjects, or to understand the relevance of a particular stakeholder or group.

How

Often Intercept Interviews are selected from a longer Interview Guide and are used in situations where a full interview is not possible, necessary or likely. Your first intercept question should always be intended to understand who the stakeholder is and create a human connection between the stakeholder and yourself that is conducive to opening dialogue.

Examples and Additional Resources

Intercept questions should quickly get at information that would be valuable in addressing your research questions. They can be questions drawn from a general interview guide but should not be questions that require a great deal of contextual background. Here are a few examples used in the intercept interview guide for SecondMuse’s time in Dharamsala, India:

  • Initial question should build rapport and get to know the interviewee: What do you do? Where are you from? How did you come to be interested in this area of work?
  • How often do you think about privacy and/or security when using the Internet?
  • Who or what comes to mind?
  • Have you ever tried to use a new app or software that is meant to help you communicate with others and given up on it? Why did you stop using it?
  • Let’s say your favorite communication application no longer existed and you wanted to choose a new application to chat with others. What are the most important things that app must be able to do?