10 Books To Learn How To Interview Users and Work With Insights

10 Books To Learn How To Interview Users and Work With Insights

Interviewing users is the job of your User Research team or your UX people? Maybe you want to consider diving deeper into this topic to get in direct contact with your users yourself. It can be quite eye-opening to see users using your product in action while being able to ask any question you like. Or, maybe you simply don’t have another chance and can’t rely on a sophisticated team that’s actually taking care of all research. In this case, we’ve collected the best books for you to learn how to interview users, ask the right questions and work with the insights you gathered.

Interviewing Users

Interviewing Users

How to Uncover Compelling Insights
by Steve Portigal

Why read?

Interviewing is a foundational user research tool that people assume they already possess. Everyone can ask questions, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Interviewing Users provides invaluable interviewing techniques and tools that enable you to conduct informative interviews with anyone. You’ll move from simply gathering data to uncovering powerful insights about people.

176 pages, Rosenfeld Media 2013

Talking to Strangers

Talking to Strangers

What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know
by Malcolm Gladwell

Why read?

Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers — and why they often go wrong. Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world. Gladwell brilliantly argues that we should stop assuming, realize no one’s transparent and understand that behavior is tied to unseen circumstances.

400 pages, Little, Brown and Company 2019

The Mom Test

The Mom Test

How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you
by Rob Fitzpatrick

Why read?

Talking to customers is one of the foundational skills of both Customer Development and Lean Startup. We all know we’re supposed to do it, but nobody seems willing to admit that it’s easy to screw up and hard to do right. This book is going to show you how customer conversations go wrong and how you can do better.

136 pages, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2013

Sense and Respond

Sense and Respond

How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously
by Jeff Gothelf, Joshua Seiden

Why read?

This engaging and practical book provides the crucial new operational and management model to help you and your organization win in a world of continuous change.

272 pages, Harvard Business Review Press 2017

The User Experience Team of One

The User Experience Team of One

A Research and Design Survival Guide
by Leah Buley

Why read?

The User Experience Team of One prescribes a range of approaches that have a big impact and take less time and fewer resources than the standard lineup of UX deliverables.

264 pages, Rosenfeld Media 2013

Talking to Humans

Talking to Humans

Success starts with understanding your customers
by Giff Constable, Frank Rimalovski, Tom Fishburne

Why read?

Talking to Humans is a practical guide to the qualitative side of customer development, an indispensable skill for vetting and improving any new startup or innovation. This book will teach you how to structure and run effective customer interviews, find candidates, and turn learnings into action.

88 pages, Giff Constable 2014

Just Enough Research

Just Enough Research

by Erika Hall

Why read?

Design research is a hard slog that takes years to learn and time away from the real work of design, right? Wrong. Good research is about asking more and better questions, and thinking critically about the answers. It’s something every member of your team can and should do, and which everyone can learn, quickly. And done well, it will save you time and money by reducing unknowns and creating a solid foundation to build the right thing, in the most effective way. In Just Enough Research, co-founder of Mule Design Erika Hall distills her experience into a brief cookbook of research methods. Learn how to discover your competitive advantages, spot your own blind spots and biases, understand and harness your findings, and why you should never, ever hold a focus group. You’ll start doing good research faster than you can plan your next pitch. Erika Hall has been working in web design and development since the late 20th century. In 2001, she co-founded Mule Design Studio where she directs the research, interaction design, and strategy practices. Erika speaks and writes frequently about cross-disciplinary collaboration and the importance of natural language in user interfaces. In her spare time, she battles empty corporate jargon at Unsuck It. She also co-hosts Running from the Law, a weekly podcast on business law and endurance fitness, and can probably outrun you. (Amazon)

154 pages, A Book Apart 2013

UX Research

UX Research

Practical Techniques for Designing Better Products
by Brad Nunnally, David Farkas

Why read?

One key responsibility of product designers and UX practitioners is to conduct formal and informal research to clarify design decisions and business needs. But there’s often mystery around product research, with the feeling that you need to be a research Zen master to gather anything useful. Fact is, anyone can conduct product research. With this quick reference guide, you’ll learn a common language and set of tools to help you carry out research in an informed and productive manner.

256 pages, O’Reilly Media 2016

User Research

User Research

A Practical Guide to Designing Better Products and Services
by Stephanie Marsh

Why read?

This book shows how to use the vast array of user research methods available. Covering all the key research methods including face-to-face user testing, card sorting, surveys, A/B testing and many more.

288 pages, Kogan Page 2018

Validating Product Ideas

Validating Product Ideas

Through Lean User Research
by Tomer Sharon

Why read?

Christian Becker — Founder of leanproductable says: “When I started with product management it was usual that any research had to run through the marketing department. I had to write a lengthy briefing, then the marketing department would give advice on how to answer the question (most likely after consulting one of their suppliers) and come back with a price and timeline. After freeing the budget, the supplier could get going and after another couple of weeks, they presented some slides with data. Impact on the product was close to zero — simply because the friction between the actual question at hand and the market research was way too high. I think that every product manager should be able to do research independently. Tomer’s book is a great start with some hands-on advice on how to get going.”

344 pages, Rosenfeld 2016