Example approaches for minimizing availbility bias
Here are a few examples of approaches to give participants more time, using multiple methods, and using more than one medium of expression.
Mixing different methods, for example, combining a diary study with interviews can help avoid biases and collect rich data. Last year, we conducted a study where we compared data from only interviews vs. interviews + diary study. We found that a diary study helps people reflect on a topic for a longer time. It also enables you to use various mediums – photos/videos/text to explore users’ experiences. And this gets you more relevant data with specific and richer examples.
Allow participants to express themselves in multiple mediums
You can ask participants to think about the topic of your study in advance and ask them to bring some photos/audio/video data representing their thoughts. Then you can discuss those during the interview.Just like I outlined my process here, I would suggest you to do that same, to get an insight into your process of working, so you can apply it everywhere :).
Meena Kothandaraman from twig + fish shared this research approach. They use an activity as a ‘hook’ into the conversation with people. For example, they start the interview by asking the users to fill an empathy map around the topic. This way people get some time to gather their thoughts. Also, it gives a voice to people who prefer to write or draw more instead of talking. They can lead you through their map and thus feel more in control of the conversation. Below is an image of an empathy map with questions such as: What do they think and feel, or see, or say and do, and hear? Where are the pains and the gains?