There is no part of the design thinking process I dislike more than the interviewing stage (called Empathy on my school’s model). This is ironic, of course, because it becomes very difficult to do the rest of the process without this step and defeats the purpose of the process in general.
I have long been awkward around people I don’t know very well, and while I am working on it in general, the interview phase requires that you are around people for rather long amounts of time trying to learn about very specific things, rather than just casual conversation, and that is probably the hardest part for me.
I’m always afraid my questions won’t get me what I want/need. I get frustrated when someone I am interviewing isn’t engaged and giving me useful answers, especially when I know the questions are good because other people were about to answer them in depth. I’m never quite sure what to ask to get people to go deeper or how to pick the right trail to go down.
During this design brief, though, I’ve become better at interviewing. Maybe it’s because we’ve had to do so many and practice makes perfect. Maybe it’s just a culmination of all of the things I’ve learned about interviewing in the past finally helping me make the right decisions. Maybe I’m growing out of my awkwardness. Whatever it is, I’m grateful because it’s making me dread interviewing less.
One example of a good interview I had recently was with the founder of the preschool Turning Sun. My group didn’t really know what we were walking into, which made it rather difficult to prepare questions ahead of time. This meant I got more practice thinking on my feet, and in the end I felt like I got my best answers yet from this interview.
Next on our plate is prototyping, and this will be another area of growth for me as I will be learning more about SketchUp and how it works as I build out out models.