Research Methods: Developing your research design

Eira Patterson | View as single page | Feedback/Impact


Using interviews in your research will enable you to explore key themes in more depth and to follow up interesting themes that arise in your discussions.

The following checklist will help you to identify the key features you need to consider when designing your interview questions:

  • Implementation of the interview: face-to-face / telephone / Skype; individual / paired / focus group

  • Structure of the interview questions: semi structured with open questions / structured with closed (qualitative) questions

  • Types of initial question: descriptive / experience / behaviour / knowledge / engaging with feelings / sensory / background

  • Types of follow-up question: prompting (to support interviewees who are struggling to interpret a question or to think of a relevant response) / probing (to explore an response in more depth to clarify or follow up an interesting theme)

  • Interview technique

  • Transcribing and coding the data from interviews

Sources of further information:

Introduction to interviews

Overview of semi-structured interviews

Practical ideas for carrying out semi-structured interviews