Testing Techniques Part 9: In-Depth Interviews

'Health Lit Live' talk show host Doug asks a guest with cat head: "Tell me every single thing you've ever known about cat head..."

For our latest installment on testing techniques, we’re talking about in-depth interviews, or IDIs. We ❤︎ interviewing because it’s an effective, versatile, and affordable way to get great feedback on health materials, messages, or tools.

What is an in-depth interview? It’s simply a one-on-one conversation between a moderator and a participant. Interviews usually take an hour or less — and they can be done via phone, video chat, or in person.

Some interviews are very structured and follow a formal moderator’s guide. Others are more open ended, allowing the conversation to flow naturally. Here at We ❤︎ Health Literacy Headquarters, we like to strike a nice balance between the 2 approaches.

Here are some specifics about why we ❤︎ interviews:

  • They’re effective. You can get a lot of information from an hour-long chat with a participant. Unlike a focus group, where you’re talking to several participants at once, you can dive deep into a topic with a single participant. And usually, you don’t need to interview a ton of people to get valuable insights.
  • They’re versatile. Interviews can be helpful at just about any stage of the product development process. For example, you can interview people to find out what they already know about a topic, or you can show folks draft materials to get their feedback.
  • They’re affordable. Of all the testing techniques we recommend, interviewing is one of the most low tech — and you can do them just about anywhere.

The bottom line: Try in-depth interviews for an effective, versatile, and affordable way to get audience feedback.