" Leanconf 2014

How to fail at customer interviewing

Adrian Howard

Agile & Lean UX coach/practitioner, Quietstars

How to fail at customer interviewing

Speaker Bio

Adrian Howard is passionate about building effective teams and great products. He co-founded Quietstars to help organisations do that using Agile, Lean and User Experience practices.

You'll find Adrian working with startup and product development teams — combining coaching & teaching with hands on user experience & development work.

With more than fifteen years experience working with startups, established businesses and agencies Adrian is an active member of the Agile, Balanced Team & Lean UX communities. He regularly teaches and speaks on integrating Lean, UX and Agile methods, and mentors for Lean Startup Machine and speakup.io.

You'll often find him ranting in a corner of the bar about how agile, business and user experience folk need to play nice together. Be kind and buy him whisky.

Before he fell into industry Adrian was a member of the Socio-Cognitive Technology Research Group at Sussex University, taught on the Human Centred Computing Systems MSc, and picked up a degree in Computing and Artificial Intelligence with a side order of Cognitive Philosophy & Linguistics.

How to fail at customer interviewing by Adrian Howard

To build the right product you need to understand the people who use it. Good interviewing should be one of your core skills—whether you are a designer, an entrepreneur, a product manager, or an innovator. Yet I see people making the same mistakes again and again when they go and talk to customers.

This talk will help folk get the most from conversations with customers — by showing you how not to do it. I’ll walk through a series of examples of how I’ve seen people do it wrong, and advice on how to avoid their mistakes. Mistakes like:

  • Speaking more than the interviewer
  • Selling rather than listening
  • The many and varied ways people can ask leading questions
  • Not talking to the right people
  • Looking for customers in the wrong places
  • Many more...

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