In this exercise, you'll try to find one of the values of an interview subject, then verify and articulate it precisely..

This exercise assumes you already know what a value is, and have a basic understanding of how to articulate it, according to HS.


<aside> ☝ Try this first with interview subjects who are very patient. In your first VETs, it might take an hour of interviewing to get one good value from your subject. Once you've practiced, you can get it down to 10 minutes—more suitable for busy people.


Before your first VET:

Getting Started

  1. Introduce the process. Tell your subject what's about to happen. Something like this:

  2. Choose an aspect of life. You may want to focus on meaningful experiences related to your design project.

  3. Ask about a meaningful time. Start by asking for meaningful time in their life. It's best to have a meaningful moment—something that happened over 5 minutes or an hour, rather than over months or years.

    Tell me about a meaningful moment in your life with regards to (insert aspect here) - something that happened over 5 minutes or an hour, rather than over months or years. Make sure it's a story in which you were either doing something or appreciating something, not something that just passively happened to you.

    (For more advanced VETing, there are other ways to start the interview—from experiences of frustration, meaninglessness, etc.)

The Interview

Worksheets. Prepare a fresh worksheet for each interview. You'll collect the subject's words and phrases into three columns:


Asking questions

You'll need to ask your subject what they were doing, attending to, or appreciating, in their meaningful moment. You're looking for an attentional policy—a way of approaching things that they find rewarding that relates to a context in their life. (Full definition here.)

(See the worksheet for basic questions to ask.)