• Interviews: Overview

    The interview is a qualitative research method that takes the form of a conversation between a researcher and an interviewee. The typical interview is between one interviewer and one interviewee. A small group interview is more often called a focus group. Interviews can provide invaluable insight into the behaviors, attitudes, and preferences of a space’s current or potential users. They are effective when conducted during the developmental design stages of a project, in that they allow the researchers to incorporate participant feedback back into the project’s design. They are also useful for assessing how well a space is working once it is occupied or renovated. This methodology is especially helpful for identifying the design elements that are most useful in a space, as well as the elements that users find insufficient.


    • Highly flexible method that can be adapted on-the-fly
    • A variety of topics can be covered
    • Can vary in length to accommodate schedules
    • Provides rich insight into individual perspectives and behaviors


    • Time-intensive due to the one-on-one nature of the method
    • Interviewer must be able to establish a rapport with the interviewee
    • Given the relatively small number of people interviewed, the findings might not be typical for the overall population