Ask DN: Do you use transcribing software for User Interviews?

almost 7 years ago from , Digital Product Designer

Listening to user interviews and writing down research notes takes time. Has anyone found transcribing software helpful? What pros and cons do you see using software like this for user interviews?


  • Quinn Keast, almost 7 years ago

    I use Pop Up Archive to transcribe interviews. I don't know if it's the best option, but it does a terrific job of capturing the gist of what was said in an interview, and as a consultant, my clients love being able to read, rather than listen to the interview. I typically move it over to a shared Google Doc and highlight/comment on notable moments. While it can garble it in places, I don't find it worthwhile to edit it for accuracy. When there's a particularly badly-transcribed sentence that's relevant, it includes timestamps that let me go back and correct it by hand.

    3 points
  • Zach HubbardZach Hubbard, almost 7 years ago

    We don't transcribe entire user interviews. Usually there's the facilitator, a recorder, and then another designer/researcher is the notetaker. A lot of the time we aren't allowed a recorder though do to the nature of our work.

    I prefer just having another person as a notetaker, instead of a full transcription, since it really lets me focus on the interview, and the other designer/researcher to focus on key notes. We can then go back and ask additional questions right on the spot easily.

    1 point
  • tomp ptomp p, almost 7 years ago

    As I had experience with both ways (not transcribing entire interviews + transcribing them) - I see the following pros + cons:

    Pros of transcribing interviews: + you have the entire interview at your finger tip, searching for certain words is easy when you have the entire interview. + people do not listen to the audio files (at least that's my experience) + having a written document helps to provide further context

    Cons of transcribing interviews: - transcribing takes time (or costs money) - some transcripts might never be used

    All in all, I think that it's more important to have a summary of the key points of each interview somewhere easily accessible.

    I've used rev.com in the past for transcribing user interviews. It's a great service and works super fast (usually you get the ready transcript within 24 hours).

    0 points
  • Juan Rafael Lopez, almost 7 years ago

    I'm very close to trying https://cloud.google.com/speech/ anyone have experience with that?

    0 points
    • James FutheyJames Futhey, almost 7 years ago

      Hmm, that's an interesting approach. Wondering if there would be any difference between doing this, and just uploading the videos (unlisted) to Youtube, and letting it use (presumably Google's Cloud Speech API) to provide automatic captioning for the video?

      0 points
  • Tim Kjær LangeTim Kjær Lange, almost 7 years ago

    I've used Rev to transcribe interviews in the past. The service adds timestamps every minute, makes it easy to find and pull clips.

    0 points