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TEDW: a framework for enriching cusdev interviews

Are you and the users tired of predictable interviews? The standard questionnaire doesn't cover all the functionality anymore and you need to "change something"? Try TEDW!


TEDW is a small extension of the classic methodology of customer development through the voicing of additional questions for users, where each question helps to enrich the interview with useful and the most "native" information.

Nikki Anderson of the User Research Academy invented the TEDW metodology. Nikki suggests complementing the standard approach to cusdev and not shying away from asking users questions that more effectively immerse them and you in almost any topic.

So, TEDW is an acronym for the various options you can enrich your answers with in open-ended questions alone.

T - tell me more or " give me more details".
E - explain or "explain, please."
D - describe or "describe please".
W - walk me through or "let's go through together".

How to start

So, all of the interview questions are divided into two groups:

  • Closed-ended for immersion. Closed questions usually have a simple answer (yes/no); they do not give the interviewees the opportunity to clarify or explain their answer, and they are followed by the end of a step or the entire dialog as a whole.
  • Open-ended for immersion. Open-ended questions encourage dialog development on the part of your interlocutor.

Examples of use tEDW during an interview

Tell me more

Used when it is necessary to focus the dialog on a clear topic by getting more information about it. The purpose is to give the interviewee the freedom to tell everything related to the topic.

  • You said you don't understand the functionality of the platform. Tell us more about it.
  • You said you lacked a product lineup search. Tell me more about it.
  • Tell me more about how you place an order on our site?

Explain please

Used to get additional clarifying information on an already established topic where you need to find out your true motives.

  • Please explain what feature in the product is most valuable to you.
  • Please explain why product composition searches are so important to you.
  • Please explain what you mean by "couldn't find a performer"?

Describe, please

Like the questions above, these clarifications can once again help you understand the various details and context in which the actions take place.

- Please describe your initial expectations for using our product.

- Please describe your emotions after a successful action in our product.

- Please describe how you look for a performer without using our product.

Walk me

A closer way to dive into the details is to offer yourself as a partner in your user journey and then ask questions that are interesting to you.

  • Let's start searching for performers together. How do you do this?
  • I suggest we form your plan together. What do you require from the product?
  • Let's try logging in together. What will you do?

Nothing is complicated, but there is a lot of opportunity for free storytelling on the part of the interlocutor.

The task of the product manager is to listen actively and draw appropriate conclusions from what is said.

Mixing these four questions with clarifications can not only brighten up any boring interview and turn it into a fascinating conversation for both participants, but also help you figure out the real motives of the user, allowing you to get to the truth.

The devil is in the details, as always.

P.S. The model can be applied to many situations you encounter in your work: customer development, market research, interviewing new team members, in general, wherever there are 2 participants in the dialog.