#7 Conducting great user interviews to understand your Atlan users!


When we spoke last week, I shared with you that we will be writing a 4 part series to decode what goes into a successful use-case roll-out. In part 1, I talked about user surveys. Today, in part 2, I want to talk about user interviews (& the much sought after art of conducting amazing user interviews!)

A user interview is a way to understand your end-users and their pain points. The word "interview" is a little intimidating, so I encourage you to think of it as a relatively structured, open discussion with end users in your org. This discussion empowers you with insights to visualise a user's current workflow and consequently, envision a desired workflow – one that truly adds value to their day-to-day life.

The art of conducting a great user interview has been hailed as a mix of art and science. But I strongly believe that if you prepare well, it is an art mastered easily. So, in this week's digest, I share 3 things that if done well should set you up for success. 🚀

1. Set a clear goal

Before you conduct a user interview it’s critical to first get clarity on what it is that you want to learn through this research. There could be different reasons for conducting a user interview, find your “why”. For example, it could be because you want to, validate your hypothesis OR Understand daily workflows of end-use OR Address recurring challenges OR Get insights on how to roll-out. If you have to go with ONE goal in user interviews let it be this: being able to successfully visualise the current workflow of your end users. Let this be your success metric to understand how well the user interview went. For example, the user flow of a BI analyst could be visualised as follows:


2. Design your interview panel

In order to successfully conduct a user interview, it is important to choose the right panel of interviewers and participants. As interviewers, go in with a positive mindset to truly listen to your users. As for participants, ensure that you have selected a representative sample of your target audience.

3. Design your discussion guide

The most important component of your prep is designing a discussion guide. A discussion guide is a document in which you formulate the questions you want to ask your participants. This guide should be closely tied to the goals of your research, and the questions should be selected according to your learning goal. In the example below, our goal is to validate a certain assumption so we have identified potential questions that can help us to achieve that goal.


Are you thinking it would have been helpful to see an actual user interview? Well, we've even transcribed a user interview to help you understand how a typical user interview flows. You can find that (and more!) in User Interview Guide which is a detailed "how-to" guide born out of learnings from some of our DataOps champions.💙

If you want to read more about conducting high-value user interviews a detailed article is also up on the community: link!

As always, if you have any questions or want to discuss this in detail shoot me an email. Would be happy to help over an office hours session!

Speak soon,


P.S: The purpose of these emails is to share learnings and best practices to empower our community of DataOps Champions. All the previous editions of these weekly digests can be found on our community website. We've put in a lot of thought in curating what we hope is the most relevant content for you, if you'd like to stop receiving community emails, you can choose to opt-out by emailing me here: opt-out 🙂

P.P.S: We're on edition #7 of the community newsletter. I'd love some feedback! Are these helping? Does the format work? Are there any kinds of specific best case practices you'd like us to highlight? All ears!