Interviewing: The Fundamental Product Research Skill

From outside, interviewing looks like two people going over a list of questions. In reality, interviewing is like high-speed skiing on a high snowy peak – it requires constant attention of the interviewer, constant course correction, constant self-awareness, and it can quickly get out of control with disastrous results before you realize.

    In this workshop, we will cover fundamentals of product research and how interviewing is the basis for learning from your customers. We will talk about the conversational and emotional dynamics between the interviewer and the interviewee, discuss cognitive biases, social roles and other factors that impede with clear understanding.

    Participants will learn how to lead or co-participate in interviews. At the end of the day, you will be able to plan and execute interviews, analyze the sessions, and fuse your interviewing skills to other areas of your work to become a better listener.

    Aras Bilgen
    Design Trainer / Consultant

    Aras helps designers, product teams, and executives with using human-centric approaches in product development. The products he worked on are used by more than 160 million users worldwide. His book on making research a habit in product teams is scheduled for a 2020 release from O’Reilly.

    He was the Senior Vice President of experience design and front-end development at Garanti BBVA. His team worked on a broad range of areas, from mobile apps, web sites, ATMs to enterprise software, discovery, long-term strategic research.

    Prior to Garanti, he was the Product Director for ÇiçekSepeti, the largest flower and gifting site in the world. He was a Product Development Group Manager at Monitise, where his team of product managers and designers delivered top-notch digital experiences for leading financial institutions and e-commerce sites, such as İşBank, Visa, eBay, Turkcell, and Turkish Airlines. He was a UX planner at Intel where he led the UX planning for Tizen (with Samsung), worked on MeeGo (with Nokia) and adapted Intel's brand identity system for the software products.

    Previously, he was at Microsoft Research, where he developed a gestural system for interacting with displays remotely. He completed similar research efforts at the University of California, Irvine and Lancaster University, United Kingdom. He currently teaches human-centered design courses at Medipol University and Kadir Has University.

    Aras holds a BSc from Bilkent University and an MSc in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. He is currently pursuing a BA in Sociology from Anadolu University. He is an avid cook and he drives his colleagues crazy by winning all food-related trivia games.

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