Experian Product Lead on When To Ignore User Feedback (Part 3)

One way to ensure that user feedback makes a positive impact on your product decisions is to master the art (and science) of user interviews. Through the years, I’ve put together a top 10 list of best practices to use when hosting your next round of interviews.

Top 10 List of What Works for User Interviews

  1. Real Intimacy – Make it 1 on 1. Groups make the interview complicated.
  2. Call Me Maybe – Phone interviews are helpful for scale and speed. Plus, people sometimes open up more on the phone.
  3. No Mo Why – Don’t ask why since it makes people nervous. Instead ask how, what, help me understand.
  4. Notes Notes Notes – Take lots of notes. You can’t remember everything.
  5. Be Curious Like A Child – Try to think like you know almost nothing. Attempt to leave bias behind.
  6. SHHHHHH – Be silent and listen to them talk. Wait. This works better later in the interview and not right off the bat.
  7. Don’t Lead A Horse To Water – Write out questions in advance. Avoid leading questions. Ask someone else to evaluate your user interview questions.
  8. 50/50 Cohorts – Keep some repeat users to answer interviews later, and see how their bias compares with new users over time.
  9. Past + Present = Future – Price estimates by users is unreliable. See what they have spent on already, then base decisions on real data.
  10. FUNEMOSO – Don’t just try to understand functional problems. Look at it from an emotional and social angle.


For number 10, let’s look at an illustrative example. Tesla makes cars. The function is to make a car that takes you from point A to point B. If you stop there though, you completely lose the emotional and social aspect.

Tesla might have learned from their user interviews that some car owners also want to feel like they are helping the environment. So it has to be an electric car. Also, it has to be sleek and beautiful, since some car owners want to look fashionable in front of their peers.

When you factor in all three elements – FUnctional, EMOtional and SOcial, you’ll have a much deeper understanding of your customers.


Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 2

About the Speaker
Mark Pydynowski is the Senior Director of Product at Experian - helping 300+ businesses protect 60M+ consumers by building enterprise-level products in a white-label format. Prior to Experian, Mark led new product management and business development for Capital One's Digital Commerce B2B team. Prior to Capital One, Mark was the CMO at HonestPolicy.com - a value-based comparison shopping engine for consumer insurance. Before HonestPolicy.com, he was the co-founder and CEO of SOMARK Innovations, Inc., a venture-backed life science company (acquired by Two Oceans Pty Ltd). Mark earned his BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis and currently lives in Austin.

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