Talk to the user! How to conduct IDI research

Date 16 June 2022

Individual research, IDI in-depth interviews, these terms are often intertwined when it comes to digital product research. So...what exactly are they?

An IDI interview, IDI research is one of the most popular research methods that can be used throughout the digital product design process and beyond. IDI (in-depth interviews) is simply a conversation between a researcher and a respondent on a specific topic. This conversation rather resembles a journalistic river interview, as it focuses strongly on the area important to the researcher (hence the term "in-depth"). It is worth conducting such interviews in the context of getting to know our user in order to learn about his or her habits, or simply to "step into his or her shoes". Elements of an in-depth interview can also be used in other research methods, such as product usability testing.

This article will help you understand why IDI research is so important in the entire project process.

There are several reasons, and one of the most important, which I wrote about earlier, is the so-called "stepping into the shoes" of our user. Why is this so important?


Imagine that you have come up with an amazing idea and you want to create an app or another digital product. You set to work, invest your time and money, and commission market research, it turns out that there is a gap in the market and so far no one has come up with a solution like yours. With great enthusiasm you build a team, you hire more people, and the product is ready. With great excitement, the product lands on the market and what? There are no customers, little traffic, interest is not growing and frustration sets in. What went wrong?


Talk to the user! How to conduct IDI research

You didn't check if your solution is actually needed. So, instead of going blindly, after market research, it is worth talking to your users.


Invest in research, here UX researchers can help. They will prepare interviews for you and talk with your target group. You need only 10 respondents, each conversation will last 30 minutes. Is it a lot? Compared to creating a ready product, spending money and time?


Talk to the user! How to conduct IDI research

I think it is a small price to pay to actually make your product viable.

IDI surveys are also an excellent form for the next design stages, especially for checking if your product is functional.


Imagine another situation. You have created an e-commerce application, which in your opinion is perfectly designed, each function is in the right place, messages, tab names, the purchase process is intuitive and everyone will be happy to use it. Similarly, a product comes to market, you have invested your funds in marketing campaigns to further conquer the market and become an industry leader. For 2-3 weeks, everything goes according to plan, the app pulls in more and more users, but despite the interest, purchases don't happen.


What went wrong? Maybe users are struggling to make a purchase in the shopping process? Maybe data entry takes too long and users lose interest in the purchase? Maybe they do not know how to go to the shopping cart and how to finalize the order?

To avoid such a situation, it is worth conducting the so-called usability testing, i.e. usability tests combined with in-depth interviews. With the help of these tests, you will guide users through the usage scenarios of your application. During the testing of your application, UX Designer talks to the respondent and guides them through the tasks, observing the respondent's reactions. Surveys will help you catch bugs that you'll correct while still in the prototype phase, save time and money, and what's equally important: A user experience that will have them eagerly returning to your app to make a purchase again.

Summary: Are IDI Interviews necessary for product development?


Yes, if you want your idea and your investment to be a bull's-eye.



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