Interviewing users can be a inexpensive and highly effective way of gathering user information. Interviews can be very free form and investigative when not a lot is known about your users. They can also be quite focused when design decisions hinge on the answers to specific questions. Depending on the nature of a product or website, it can be a good idea to convene a user group at the beginning of the project. Having users on hand throughout the design process can speed decision making when encountering areas of uncertainty.