Posted by: laurahaneyjackson | May 15, 2017

Creating an Interview Guide

Exercise 7.3 involves preparing an interview schedule or guide for use with participants:

  • Identify the ideal sample and the types of interviews to engage in and the stance you will take.
  • Explain why these approaches are most appropriate for your research.
  • Write queries and probes as you foresee, identifying types of questions.
  • Update your guiding research questions based on your observations from the exercise.

For the purposes of this exercise, we will focus on one key question – will the transit of the future compete with AV’s and Ridesourcing or will it be a collaborative relationship?

The ideal sample interview subjects would include a cross section of individuals who contribute to all sides of the urban planning process. It would be necessary to include visionaries, as well as those who contribute to turning vision into action. An appropriate means of doing this could be through ethnographic interviews, or even through respondent interviews. Both would require longer-term association with the project in order to gather information. To encourage the subject to illiterate their thoughts, it could be appropriate to use the approach of deliberate naïveté or even the collaborative/interactive interview.

For such a large and long-term initiative, it’s imperative to gain insights into the thought processes of those in the decision-making seats. How do they think? How do they react? By providing an open forum for the subject to describe conclusions and decisions in detail, valuable insights can be gained.

What types of interview questions may yield the best results? I find there are likely multiple methods that would work in this scenario. To open the interview session, an experience question, such as “what do you see as the most challenging parts of your future commute?” could begin an active dialogue. Additionally, a factual issues approach could set a different tone. Questions such as “what is the purpose of Urbanism Next?” could be off-putting. Generative questions can also help to move the interview process along. A tour of Portland in which the subject points out the areas he or she sees as having the greatest potential to be impacted by the urban planning process could create an in-depth dialogue.

Ideally, we would be able to reframe the original question as a result of the research process. An example could be: How can Urbanism Next collaborate with Ridesourcing and AV manufacturers in the city planning process? Can the stakeholders develop a model that provides economic and planning benefits to both parties?

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