Conducting Interviews with Remote Participants
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.