Determine the Current Status.

How do users experience products?


The objective is to determine opportunities for experiences and motives of the users from the collected reports and ideas.


Find out how the users perceive a product, how they operate it, what kind of difficulties they encounter, and what their wishes and ideas are.



The Customer Expert


Statements of an interview referring to the usage of a charging station



Product, market and customer group.


During the observation, accompany and watch the user in his daily life. Special methods of observation are the participating observation where the observer takes an active part in the action and the Think Aloud Method where all of the participants verbalize their actions. The advantage of observing vs. questioning is that you can collect aspects which the user will not notice or which are not verbalized.


Semi-structure the interview, i.e. ask all interview partners the same questions. However, do not design more than a rough interview guideline so that the interview partners can tell us as much as possible about the use of the product. Ideally, orient the process on the responses of the users questioned. Begin the interview with general questions and then go into greater detail (funnel technique). Adapt the length as well as the formulation of the questions to the users questioned. The laddering technique is another method to question the reasons for a statement.


In addition to an interview, you also have the option to question users online. This method helps to reach more users in a shorter period of time and even users from greater distances; however there is no way to clear up ambiguities. This method is only suitable if you want to address many users within a short period of time or if you are looking for answers to not very detailed questions.


Analyze hands-on experiences and real user behavior in the next step for motives and opportunities.


If possible, adapt the context as closely as possible to the object of the survey during the interview: if you want to learn something about the wishes and opportunities of the user of a charging station, then conduct the interview right there or at least show a picture.


Mikos, L. & Wegener, C. (2005). Qualitative Medienforschung: ein Handbuch. Konstranz: Utb.
Reynolds, T. J., & Gutman, J. (1988). Laddering theory, method, analysis, and interpretation. Journal of advertising research, 28(1), 11–31.
Landau, M.; Frenkler, F. (2012). Nutzererfahrungen beim Laden von Elektrofahrzeugen. EMA 2012 - Elektromobilitätsausstellung und Fachtagung zum Thema Elektromobilität. Nürnberg, VDE-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-8007-3497-9