Learn how to interview users, ask the right questions and work with insights

Alexander Hipp
Mar 6 · 5 min read

Interviewing users is the job of your User Research team or your UX people? Maybe you want to consider diving deeper into this topic to get in direct contact with your users yourself. It can be quite eye-opening to see users using your product in action while being able to ask any question you like. Or, maybe you simply don’t have another chance and can’t rely on a sophisticated team that’s actually taking care of all research. In this case, we’ve collected the best books for you to learn how to interview users, ask the right questions and work with the insights you gathered.


Interviewing Users

How to Uncover Compelling Insights
by Steve Portigal

Why read?

Interviewing is a foundational user research tool that people assume they already possess. Everyone can ask questions, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Interviewing Users provides invaluable interviewing techniques and tools that enable you to conduct informative interviews with anyone. You’ll move from simply gathering data to uncovering powerful insights about people.

176 pages, Rosenfeld Media 2013

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UX Research

Practical Techniques for Designing Better Products
by Brad Nunnally and David Farkas

Why read?

One key responsibility of product designers and UX practitioners is to conduct formal and informal research to clarify design decisions and business needs. But there’s often mystery around product research, with the feeling that you need to be a research Zen master to gather anything useful. Fact is, anyone can conduct product research. With this quick reference guide, you’ll learn a common language and set of tools to help you carry out research in an informed and productive manner.

256 pages, O’Reilly Media 2016

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Talking to Humans

Success starts with understanding your customers
by Giff Constable, Frank Rimalovski and Tom Fishburne

Why read?

Talking to Humans is a practical guide to the qualitative side of customer development, an indispensable skill for vetting and improving any new startup or innovation. This book will teach you how to structure and run effective customer interviews, find candidates, and turn learnings into action.

88 pages, Giff Constable 2014

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The Mom Test

How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you
by Rob Fitzpatrick

Why read?

Talking to customers is one of the foundational skills of both Customer Development and Lean Startup. We all know we’re supposed to do it, but nobody seems willing to admit that it’s easy to screw up and hard to do right. This book is going to show you how customer conversations go wrong and how you can do better.

136 pages, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2013

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The UX Book

Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience
by Rex Hartson and Pardha Pyla

Why read?

The UX Book comes with a very broad approach to user experience through its components―usability, usefulness, and emotional impact with special attention to lightweight methods such as rapid UX evaluation techniques and an agile UX development process. It includes real-world stories and contributions from accomplished UX practitioners and a practical guide to best practices and established principles in UX.

968 pages, Morgan Kaufmann 2012

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User Research

A Practical Guide to Designing Better Products and Services
by Stephanie Marsh

Why read?

This book shows how to use the vast array of user research methods available. Covering all the key research methods including face-to-face user testing, card sorting, surveys, A/B testing and many more.

288 pages, Kogan Page 2018

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Lean UX

Designing Great Products with Agile Teams
by Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden

Why read?

You’ll learn how to drive the design in short, iterative cycles to assess what works best for the business and the user.

208 pages, O’Reilly Media 2016

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Sense and Respond

How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously
by Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden

Why read?

This engaging and practical book provides the crucial new operational and management model to help you and your organization win in a world of continuous change.

272 pages, Harvard Business Review Press 2017

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The Lean Startup

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
by Eric Ries

Why read?

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

338 pages, Currency 2011

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Do you know any great user research and interviewing books for product leaders that we missed? Let us know in the comments. #sharingiscaring

The PM Library

160+ Books and more every Product person should read

Alexander Hipp

Written by

Product Manager at N26, Creator of The PM Library and primaro.io, Co-Organizer of Product Tank Hamburg

The PM Library

160+ Books and more every Product person should read

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