Setting Up Your Mac for Remote Interviews

Putting resources into user experience design is essential for any new software to become successful today. Users expect fluid interaction and ease-of-use, and that the software they use to fit into their life, not the other way around. The user interview is central to UX design. A good interview can reveal the intent and thoughts behind user behavior. With software being globally available it's hard to imagine visiting your users all over the world. It would be a waste of time and resources. However, doing interviews over a video call saves you from drawing conclusion from a less diverse sample. And they have some perks over meeting in person, if you get your computer set up the right way. In this post I'll tell you how to set up your Mac to record screen and audio for a remote interview.

Easily follow the guide in the video to set up remote interviews. Explicit instructions down below.


For this guide you'll need a Mac, with the provided QuickTime app. It's good to have a headset for your calls, but you can use the setup for internal microphone and speakers as well.

Set up a new recording device

  1. Go to Finder and open Audio MIDI setup from Applications → Utilities (or hit cmd + spacebar and do a quick search for it)
  2. Create a new aggregate device by clicking the "+" button in the lower left.
  3. Add both your Mac microphone and speakers to the device (or external mic and speakers if you're using a headset)
  4. That's it for the setup. Close down Audio MIDI Setup and restart any recording software you want to use with the new aggregate device.

Recording with QuickTime

  1. Open QuickTime Player from your Applications.
  2. From the menu bar select File → New Screen Recording.
  3. Use the drop-down arrow beside the record button to select your newly created device as the microphone.
  4. Start a recording and test your setup by playing some audio, it should be recorded along with any sound you make in the microphone (this test works best using headphones).

Check your local laws before recording an interview, different countries have different regulations on consent.

Distributed design

Hyperlab is working towards becoming a fully distributed company, where it's possible to work from anywhere. This creates some new challenges for designers. Interviews, ideation workshops, feedback sessions and user insight sharing must be carried out in ways that allow for participation through video, or even asynchronously. We are currently learning a lot and want to share what we find. Get in touch if you want to discuss more distributed design methods!

Written by Fredrik Beckius