7 Keys to Insightful User Interviews

And the three questions I ask all new members

What’s more important for a founder than understanding your users?


Without it, you won’t be able to solve their problems or win the market. But a lot of founders don’t actually know how to talk to users.

  • How do you get them to open up to and be honest with you in conversation?

  • How can you determine what their most painful problems are?

I learned the ins and outs of running actually insightful user interviews when I was building products at Uber and Airbnb.

Then when I started Launch House, I did over 100 interviews in 3 weeks to deeply understand what our ICP was looking for. A year later we’d gone from $0 to a $12 million Series A.

So this week I’m sharing:

  • What nailing user interviews is critical

  • 8 keys to running a helpful interview

  • Where most founders go wrong

  • How I do my user interviews for Megaphone

PS — if you’re looking to really level up as an interviewer, I recently chatted with Val Pucilowski, a Staff Researcher at Slack (formerly at Instagram and Spotify). The recording is available for all members.

Why User Interviews Are So Important

Shipping product is useless if you don’t get feedback about what to ship from your users.

The more you know about them and how they perceive your product, the better you can solve their needs.

Here’s a good example from my time at Uber.

In late 2018 I joined our research team on a trip to London. We wanted to figure out how European eaters perceived our pricing vs. competitors like Deliveroo.

We already knew that our delivery fees were lower, but Deliveroo was growing quickly despite this.

When we talked to users we showed them how we had one simple delivery fee, while Deliveroo broke their fee up into multiple components. Each component was less than our delivery fee, but in total it was more expensive on average.

The interviewees got upset. They (correctly) felt like Deliveroo was intentionally tricking them by being less transparent.

However, despite being aware of and upset about this, they still said they’d be more likely to convert on the Deliveroo checkout page.

The insight that this type of drip pricing worked even when users were aware it was more expensive was depressing! But getting the insight let us innovate in other ways, and we wouldn’t’ve gotten it without a robust set of user interviews.

Now, I’m always doing user interviews. I keep constant contact with Megaphone users — and set up individual shared Slack channels with each of our first 50 paying users last summer.

For this newsletter, I talking to members every week during office hours and with 1:1 intro chats. I prioritize 3 questions there:

  1. What’s the most valuable topic I could write a newsletter issue about?

  2. Where are you getting the most value from the membership and what’s missing?

  3. How did you find the membership? What made you subscribe?

7 Keys to a Good User Interview

User interviews (should) take up a lot of your time, and you should be hyper-aware during each one by paying attention to not only what your interviewees say but also their intonation and body language.

Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the most of the time:

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