Tips for Mastering Remote User Interviews

Nektar Ege
9 Jan 2023
5 min read

Conducting user interviews remotely can be a challenge, but with the right tools and strategies, you can ensure that your sessions are productive, engaging, and informative. In this post, we'll be sharing some tips on how to effectively manage various aspects of a remote user interview, from managing silence and screen sharing to checking prototype compatibility and taking notes. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to remote user interviews, we hope that these tips will help you get the most out of your sessions and gather valuable feedback from your participants.

Embrace the silence

Silence during a remote user interview can be a normal part of the conversation, as participants may need time to think or process information. However, it's important to ensure that silence isn't due to technical issues such as a poor internet connection. If a participant stays silent for an extended period of time, consider giving them time to think and then gently inquiring about their thoughts or any issues they may be having. This can help to ensure that everyone is able to fully participate and that any concerns are addressed. Remember to be respectful and considerate when asking about someone's silence, and give them the opportunity to speak up if they wish to do so.

Check the screen sharing

Screen sharing can be a powerful tool during remote user interviews, allowing you to showcase your designs and collaborate with participants in real-time. However, it's important to take the time to properly prepare and ensure that everything is functioning smoothly. Here are a few tips for checking your screen share before your session:

  1. Make sure you have granted all necessary permissions for the conference call software to function properly.
  2. Familirize yourself with the layout of the conference call interface to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with your ability to share your designs with the participants.
  3. Have backup solutions in place in case you encounter any issues with screen sharing.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your screen share is working seamlessly and create a realistic and engaging experience for your participants.

Check how the design looks on multiple devices

Sharing a prototype link with your participants during a remote user interview can be an effective way to gather feedback and insights. However, it's important to keep in mind that prototypes may not always look as expected on different devices. Factors such as device type, size, and display settings can all impact how the prototype appears. To help ensure a smooth and realistic experience for your participants, it's a good idea to define the device type, size, and requirements of your screener in advance. If this is not possible, consider testing your prototype on a variety of different devices and making any necessary adjustments to ensure that it looks and functions as intended. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your prototypes are as effective as possible in gathering valuable feedback from your participants.

Tip: To accommodate different devices and display ratios, you can create multiple versions of your prototype that are optimized for different device sizes. By doing so, you'll be able to ensure that all of your participants have a seamless and enjoyable experience during the testing sessions.

Remember that participants are precious as gold

During a remote user interview, it's essential to make participants feel welcomed and valued. Showing kindness and respect towards participants sets the tone for a positive and productive interview experience. Take the time to establish a rapport and build a sense of trust with your participants. This helps create an environment of open and honest communication, which is crucial in gathering valuable feedback and insights. Remember that your participants are an invaluable source of information, and their contributions should be highly regarded. By treating them with kindness and respect, you can create a positive and engaging experience for all involved.

Manage note-taking while staying engaged 

Managing note-taking during a remote user interview can be a challenge, as it's important to remain engaged in the conversation while also capturing important information and insights. One way to make this process easier is to create note-taking documents in advance and organize them in a way that won't disrupt the flow of the conversation. 

Utilizing Transcription and Session Insights features offered by User Evaluation, can also be helpful in streamlining the note-taking process. If it's not possible to take notes during the session, you can always refer back to the transcript or video recording afterwards to capture any additional information. With session insights, you may even be able to obtain the most important information within seconds, eliminating the need for extensive note-taking. Try User Evaluation for free!


To sum it up, remote user interviews can be just as productive and valuable as in-person interviews with the right tools and strategies in place. In this post, we shared tips on how to effectively manage various aspects of a remote user interview, including managing silence, preparing for screen sharing, testing prototypes on multiple devices, and taking effective notes. By following these tips and being prepared for any potential challenges, you can ensure that your remote user interviews are engaging and informative for all parties involved. We hope these suggestions are helpful as you conduct your own remote user interviews and gather valuable feedback from your participants.

Nektar Ege
9 Jan 2023
5 min read