Interesting UX Interview Question

Based on a quora question, I was inspired by Bert Green‘s answer. For the purposes of this blog, I am going to make it shorter (20 min) and possible to do in an office. Here is the question:

Show me how you would build a 6″ wooden box. Show me the design and the steps.

It’s a dazzlingly deceptive question. To any question regarding the requirements, my answer is “You tell me.” I can imagine variations in what people might come up with. Different ways to:

  • Decorate the wood (carved, painted, stained, sanded)
  • Put it together (Pegs, nails, glue)
  • Measure (tape measure, eyeball)
  • Cutting (saw, large machinery
  • Box innards (jack-in-the-box, empty, etc)

I wonder if there is a correlation between creativity in describing a box and creativity in B2B product design. Or between diligence and quality of the steps and their ability to follow-through on a design.

This may be my next design question. I’m not hiring yet, but eventually.

I’m going to have to think about what kind of box I would design. I have no idea why it’s so interesting to me, but it is.

2 replies on “Interesting UX Interview Question”

“Build a box” is too vague, although it might tell you more about a person’s personality than their creativity. For example, I already know how to build a box and would design something simple and straightforward when given that question. This would tell you about how I go about things, but not about my creativity. However, if you said “make a box that a toddler can’t break”, or “make a box that doesn’t look like a box”, “or make a ironic box”, it would get those creative juices flowing. It would also show how somebody might have a great concept, but not idea how to actually make it happen.

Usually, I’m more interested in how they think through details. I imagine that if you were given that question, the interviewer would notice your creativity without having to look very hard.

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