1. A meeting of people face to face, especially for consultation.


  1. Hold an interview with (someone).

At Design Academy Eindhoven interviewing is used as a means to collect information that can be relevant to the research being conducted. Usually this means that the information needed is of a very specific nature and is not available in literature.

Depending on the information being sought, interviews may be held with various categories of people, such as users, researchers, designers, manufacturers or experts in a certain field. Interviews are usually documented via notes, audio recordings and photographs or film.

Contextual interviews are conducted in the environment, or context, in which the object of interest can be found or in which the events that are being studied take place. This ethnographic approach allows interviewers to both observe and to probe behaviour in which they are interested. One of the key benefits of interviewing in a specific context, is that it helps the interviewee to remember the kind of specific details that so often get lost in a neutral setting. People are often more comfortable providing insights into their thoughts and behaviour when discussing these within a familiar environment. Contextual interviews also allow researchers to gain an understanding of the social and physical environment surrounding the object being examined, which helps generate a more holistic understanding than is possible with traditional interviewing techniques.

DAE examples

  • Tom Loois, De dude in de Dommel, Graduation project Man and Leisure, 2011
  • Jonathan Wray, The play’s the thing, Research Associate in Readership Strategic Creativity, 2013


  • Portigal, S. (2013). Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights. New York: Rosenfeld Media.
  • Van Dijk, G. et al (2010). Contextual interviews. In: Stickdorn, M & Schneider, J. (Eds.), This is Service Design thinking: Basics, Tools, Cases (p. 162–163). Amsterdam: Bis Publishers.