As a member of User Experience design team, I was involved with the interviewing high school students for the research about Instagram application. I communicated effectively non-verbally with the high school students to present our team professional and friendly, and to avoid any initial awkwardness. Through non-verbal communication I also wanted to make our respondents feel more comfortable in the university settings and encourage them to give as thoughtful insights.
In order to successfully complete this task, I used non-verbal communication such as proxemics, vocal qualities, facial affect, eye contact, body language, and intentional gestures, to make our interviewees feeling more comfortable with our team. To have a good first impression, I was maintaining a friendly facial affect, such as smiling face and solid eye contact. I considered appropriate proxemics by asking my teammates to seat at the corner of the table to avoid sitting directly across each other. When the high school student was ready to be interviewed, I made sure there are no physical barriers between us, such as laptop screen, to avoid the feeling of confrontation and discomfort. In order to maintain eye contact, I tried to memorize the script of the opening, to convey the information about our research in a more memorable way. While explaining the purpose of our research, I was considering the vocal qualities of my voice, such as tone and pace, to make sure the student understands the important information about the interview and the task she will be completing afterwards. When the student was giving as the feedback, I kept maintaining eye contact with her to show that I’m concentrated on the content of her speech and to show the value of the information she is giving us. To increase friendly conversation, I used body language by maintaining an open, relaxed posture and smiling. While asking the student to complete the task, I also made sure I wasn’t crossing my arms in front of my body to avoid the feeling of disagreement. When the student was talking out loud while completing the task, I was using a silent probe to encourage the student to continue speaking. After the student stopped talking and if I felt that the answer wasn’t complete, I remained silent for a few moments and used intentional gestures, such as eye contact and head nod to encourage the student continue giving as her feedback. It helped me to show the respect and the value of the information that the respondent was giving us.
After I had done this, our high school students were feeling confident and comfortable with our team, which resulted in smooth interviews and interesting points for our research. My team was able to gather exciting information for our future campaign for the Instagram application.