Book Chapter: Conducting Interviews with Remote Participants


Happy to announce that Carman Neustaedter (Simon Fraser University) and Tejinder K. Judge (Google Inc.)’s new book Studying and Designing for Domestic Life: Lessons From Home, includes a chapter I helped write. The chapter (Chapter 2) focuses on Conducting Interviews with Remote Participants. I specifically review my experience with mobile commerce and how we overcame remote participant challenges for the project. My fellow co-authors, Azadeh Forghani and Carolyn Pang lend similar “lessons learned”, but on a selection of different projects. Pangs insights come from her study  on the Role of Communication and Technology for Families coping with Chronic Illness and Forghani’s comes from her study on virtual communication between distance separated Grandparents and Grandchildren.

I was also fortunate enough to work with the authors in designing the book cover!

Chapter 2 Outline: Conducting Interviews with Remote Participants

Serena Hillman, Azadeh Forghani, Carolyn Pang, Carman Neustaedter
Simon Fraser University

Tejinder K. Judge
Google Inc.

Interviewing comes in many forms and is a valuable tool for collecting information from study participants. Yet more frequently it seems difficult to find participants who live within close proximity to the researchers and match specific demographic requirements for a study. Moreover, research projects may focus on studying participants in different regions of the world where it is challenging to travel to meet and interview participants. Video communication technologies such as Skype, FaceTime, and Google+ Hangouts are now playing a pivotal role in user studies where many researchers are turning to such technology to support remote interviewing. This chapter explores the challenges and lessons learned from performing interviews over video communication technologies by discussing studies from three areas: family communication between grandparents and grandchildren, family communication during cases of chronic illness, and mobile commerce shopping behaviors. Lessons include how to address ethical concerns, work with and view physical artifacts, empathize with participants, and deal with technical challenges.


The book can be ordered through Amazon here

and additional material and information about the book can be found here.