When starting this assignment, I began by looking at the list of topics and considered firstly my interest in each. For example I felt the topic of “How have students’ dress sense changed since they left home?” would have been fun to do, and I could think of many related questions. However when it came reflecting on the interviews I think I would have struggled to relate this to any real interest of mine. I also considered the questions about shopping, and sales, these could have been interesting but I think they would have taken just too far out of my comfort zone. So in the end I decided to Focus on “What object do people treasure the most? Why?”. I chose this because I find belongings, the idea of keepsakes, and attaching feeling to possessions very interesting, as someone who has many treasured items, all for different reasons. I think I will really enjoy analysing other’s answers and exploring the reasons people get emotionally attached to belongings.
After this point, I mind mapped this idea to explore what areas I could cover. Thinking about what type of objects people could choose, and more importantly why they singled that thing out, I felt I wanted to structure my questions around the reasons behind each object, asking questions which would let the person explain their reasoning in detail. I tried to consider how I would answer each question as I wrote them, and make sure none could have a yes/no type answer. It was difficult to write a lot of questions about this topic, so my first set had only three questions which I tested on a friend. I wanted to get the person thinking about why, before actually asking them about their object.
- Thinking about belongings, why do you think people treasure “stuff”?
- What object do you treasure most?
- Why is important to you?
When interviewing Rachael, my test interviewee, we sat comfortably in university and the interview lasted about 5 minutes. I strayed away from filming/recording the interview as she was not comfortable with it, as many people aren’t. Instead I wrote lots of notes to record the interview.
me: “Thinking about belongings, why do you think people treasure “stuff”?”
Rachael: “Because they usually have a strong connection, sentimental value or they just couldn’t live without them.”
me: “So, What object do you treasure most?”
Rachael:”A ring from my great gran”
me: “Why is it important to you?”
Rachael: “It is one of the few things I have of my great gran. Died when I was young. It’s nice to feel some connection to her”
So when looking back at this, I felt it was just lacking something, It was too short and did not make the interviewee dive into much detail about the object. However the direct questions did force direct answers, there was little hesitation, or an unsure reason. It is always going to be an object that the person feels very passionate about, so asking why, directly will always give a good story I think. I expected Rachael to describe the object more when I asked what it was, this is somewhere where I feel I need to add another question or two.
From this i have decided to add, “Could you describe this object for me?” and a question at the end depending on their answer to why, to try to get them to go a little deeper.
Let’s go interview!