One common occurrence working as a games researcher is that you have to interview players after they have played your game. Sometimes you want to find out things about the game as such (usability, design, …), sometimes it’s about the research question behind the game.
Steve Bromley is also a games researcher and he blogs especially about usability in games. In his latest posts he shares guidelines for conducting such interviews. I think they are applicable for all types of player interviews, so below is my quick recap.
Always confirm what you’ve seen
Don’t just assume what the test subject is doing, have it explained to you.
Repeat everything. Repeat everything.
Rephrase what they said to make sure you understood them correctly – and to trigger further details from them.
Imagine telling the development team
Get enough details about the issues – ask them the the whys and hows.
Ensure players are describing their own experience
Don’t let them talk about what they think others might think,
Head to his blog for the full run-down:“Some things I’ve learned about moderating playtesting sessions”.