Debriefing guide
After a session, it’s a good idea for everyone (moderators, notetakers, and observers) to stick around and debrief, while the session is still fresh in your memory. This is a casual, unstructured conversation to capture any highlights and discuss the session.

This is a good opportunity to reduce bias in your results. You may have interpreted something differently than another member of the team, and it’s important to discuss those things in order to get as many different takes as possible.

What are your key takeaways?

Generally, after an interview, a few highlights will pop out. Make sure to discuss these themes and ensure they’re represented in the notes.

What surprised you?

Did you hear something you didn’t expect? Was there something that changed how you thought about the problem or the discussion?

Sift through your notes for ideas

Look through your notes looking for patterns of behavior, obvious pain points, quotes, and other observations that you think help define and explain this segment. What did you learn about them that you didn’t know at the beginning of the call? What about their world makes more sense now? What did you hear that you want to make sure others hear?

Try to come away from each interview with at least 5-6 of these ‘nuggets’ (it’s a technical term) of an idea, an insight, or even a further question.

This might take a while at first for you to go from interview to this ‘nugget of insight.’ In fact some key insights from an interview may not appear to you until a bit after the call. The key is to make sure you pull something from every interview to help shape our understanding of the customer.

Make a note of it

From these discussions, create a list of your top takeaways. To keep things post-it sized, keep your insights to a single sentence.

If you use a sticky note app, put these insights in there. As the sessions are run, you’ll see more notes added, and eventually you’ll be able to identify patterns in the data. 

Don’t worry about identifying patterns right now though. Your job right now is to identify as many insights as possible. We’ll sort through them all later!