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Intercept interviews

Intercept interviews are short interviews with users following a transaction. The interview aims to capture the user’s thoughts on a service while the interaction is still fresh in their mind.

Intercept interviews take place in service settings, such as a police station or post-office. Researchers often ask all participants a set of standard open-ended questions.

Why it’s useful

Intercept interviews are a useful way of surveying the opinions of a broad sample of users in a short time. They can help test initial findings (or ‘hunches’) that have emerged from other research (like ethnographies, in-depth interviews or quantitative analysis).

Ethnography

In-depth interviews

When to do it

Intercept interviews are useful at the beginning of a project, in the prepare and understand phases, to gather existing feelings and experiences of a service. They’re also useful later on to test ideas for prototypes.

Prepare phase

Understand phase

How to do it

  1. As with other forms of user research (like ethnography, in-depth interviews and focus groups) you need to think about sample size and ethics (consent forms, incentives, information sheets).
  2. Choose an appropriate location (or locations) to conduct your intercept interviews and talk to the managers who run them.
  3. For intercept interviews you’ll need a discussion guide. Keep this concise – on average you’re hoping for 5 to 10 minutes of a participant’s time, so you don’t want too many questions.

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