User Interviews

Document created by cwruck Administrator on Jul 18, 2018Last modified by cwruck Administrator on Jul 23, 2018
Version 3Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

User interviews are one of the most important parts of our product research. Spending time with you is an extremely important step in our journey towards creating great solutions for you. Because we know how valuable your time is, we've written up a bit about how user interviews are conducted. We can do them in person or remotely. The remote interviews leverage a video conferencing tool that allows us to conduct 1-on-1 interviews from our office. For an onsite visit, our product managers travel to your institution to conduct 1-on-1 interviews in person, with your faculty, staff and students. For more details on both of these types of user interviews, please read the FAQ below. If you haven't already spoken with us about your interest in participating in User Interviews, please submit your request here.


Video Conference User Interviews

Why does Instructure do virtual interviews?

Because we can't visit every single institution, we are offering the opportunity for individual users to sign up for a virtual conversation with one of our product managers. We’re looking for the opportunity to watch your students and/or faculty use Canvas virtually. We want to ask questions, but most importantly, we want to hear their ideas and any difficulties that they’re currently experiencing. These observation activities and interviews help ensure that we make good decisions for all our users when we start designing new solutions.

How will we connect 'virtually'?

We use a browser-based video conferencing tool (you won’t have to install anything on your computer) to spend about an hour chatting with you. 

Is it okay if I have some friends/colleagues sit in on the call?

No, thank you. We appreciate your friends/colleagues interest, but please have them submit a separate request. One of the reasons we do these calls is to help us paint a picture of a single user's experience. When multiple people are sharing their experience, it can be difficult to see that single user experience.


Product Onsite Visits

Thanks for being interested in hosting an Instructure product manager at your institution! As an admin, you should know what to expect when we visit your school so we can make the most use of your time, and the time of everyone we interview.

Why does Instructure do user interview site visits?

In order to make sure we build great features, we travel to our customer’s institutions so that we can hear from our beloved users and watch how they currently use Canvas. We’re looking for the opportunity to watch your students and faculty use Canvas in places where they normally use Canvas: in the classroom, in an office, in a computer lab. We want to ask questions, but most importantly, we want to hear their ideas and any difficulties that they’re currently experiencing. These observation activities and interviews help ensure that we make good decisions for all our users when we start designing new solutions.

How do you prefer to structure your interview site visits?

We like to spend the majority of our time meeting one-on-one with individual users. The time with each user is up to you. We usually reserve 30 minutes to 1-hour time blocks with each user, with time for travel between each meeting. We will (happily) walk around your campus from user to user, so that we can see them where they normally spend their time using Canvas. We always appreciate a break for lunch, but we can be available for most of the day to meet with users individually.

If your administrative team is interested in meeting with us at some point during the day, we’re happy to spend time chatting with them and hearing their concerns over coffee before user interviews begin, or during the lunch break.

What should I communicate to the interviewees?

You can let the users we’ll be interviewing know that a couple folks from Canvas would like to hear from them about Canvas, see how they use Canvas, and ask them questions about how they use it. If we have a specific topic we’re interested in, we’ll let you know ahead of time.

Why do you prefer one-on-one interviews and not group interviews?

It's much easier to hear a clear voice and wholistic story from a single person than it is to hear that voice when it’s surrounded by a chorus of people singing different songs. And, in our experience, the tone and message from each person completely changes with an audience. In fact, some people won’t say anything at all in a group, but they will provide valuable insight in one-on-one situations.

Can you schedule a phone interview with a remote employee while you’re here?

We travel to your institution for the purpose of in-person interviews. These interviews are a form of contextual inquiry where we’re able to observe the users in the context where they're normally using Canvas. We gain insights by watching an instructor be interrupted, or reference a piece of paper they have taped to the wall. If you have remote employees who would like to participate, we’d prefer that you have them submit a request for a video conference interview.

Can I sit in on the interviews?

We’d prefer to conduct one-on-one interviews without external influences. When an administrator is present, a user may not be as genuine as we’d like, or they may hold back responses that may be beneficial, so we request that you do not. We are happy to offer verbal or written summaries and/or access to the notes we took during interviews.

Should I reserve a room for you to interview in?

No, thank you. We’d really prefer to visit users in the environments where they normally use Canvas. We don’t mind walking all over campus (we’ve done it lots), and the value we get from seeing where they normally work is the primary reason that we travel to your school to visit with your users.