2020 User Interview Theory and Practice

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Engineering Sciences and Design
Saijo Miki  Ohashi Takumi 
Class Format
Exercise    (ZOOM)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue5-6(EEI 411)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

For empathy between users and engineers, the starting point for design thinking prototyping, engineers need to be equipped with interview techniques to help users verbalize their thoughts and feelings.
In order to cultivate such abilities, in this lecture we will learn the theory and practice of interview techniques that employ the concept of discourse management.

Student learning outcomes

Understand the principles of dialogue and discourse management. Write an interview flow that suits your purpose. Execute a semi-structured interview. Understand how to draw insights based on interview sheets.


dialogue, semi-structured interview, insight, empathy

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

In the first half of the course, you will learn about the basic idea of ​​dialogue, how to conduct interviews that both you and the counter part have find something new, and how to incorporate the insight you get in interview into design thinking.
In the second half, we will divide the students into several groups, set an interview theme for each group, actually let them interview. Through creation of interview flow, transcription of interview and getting insights from raw data, students will learn interview techniques and data compilation by setting up an assignment in each lesson and providing feedback in the next lesson.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Principle of dialogue and discourse management By instruction in the class
Class 2 Theory and practice of semi-structured interview
Class 3 Interview plan and implementation
Class 4 Guidance for interview flow and data structure
Class 5 Group Interview 1
Class 6 Group Interview 2
Class 7 Presentation and Feedback

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


nothing in particular.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Communication design Miki Saijo Kuroshio Shuppan

Assessment criteria and methods

Presentation of interview assignment, Final report

Related courses

  • ESD.A401 : Engineering Design Challenge
  • ESD.B401 : Engineering Design Advanced
  • ESD.C404 : Communication Design: Theory & Practice

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Non required.

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