Pre Interview and Interview Questions

Hi there,

I am fairly new to UX/UI. I am currently designing and developing a website for my local community which will have the following main sections:

  • Local business
  • Local events
  • Local jobs
  • Local news

I understand I need to carry out some user research to help me plan and create the website and have a few questions about the questions to ask my community.

The town I live in is fairly small (around 16,666 - taken Friday 13th!).

My first question is, before I do the interview/questionnaire, do I need to work out the demographic I need to ask? Having lived in the town for around 30 years I have an idea of the type of people that would “probably” be using my website which is based on an educated guess. That being both male and female, middle aged to older age. Do I need to fine tune this demographic?

My second question is about how do I determine the questions for my survey?

As I will be incorporating a local business directory, events and jobs, do I need to ask them which of these they would use the most and how often? Or should I ask them what they would like to use on a community website instead of giving them the pre-defined features?

Thirdly, how do I go about finding my test people? Should I use my local Facebook group? If so, what pre-interview questions should I ask? - Things like:

  • How long have you lived in ABC town?
  • What is your profession? (to maybe avoid competition and giving my idea away to other members at this stage!)
  • How many times do you visit our town centre and for what purpose? Please describe/list 3 items

I have not done anything like this before, so would it be possible to help me with the type of pre-questions and main questions I should be asking at this stage?

Thank you for your time and I appreciate any help!