Individual Depth Interviews (IDI’s)


Individual Depth Interviews (IDI’s) are a qualitative research method used in market research and social sciences to gain in-depth insights into a particular topic or issue. This method involves a one-on-one conversation between a researcher and a participant, where the participant is encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences on a specific subject. IDI’s provide a more personal and intimate setting for participants to share their perspectives, making it an effective tool in understanding complex and sensitive topics.

What is it?

As mentioned earlier, Individual Depth Interviews are one-on-one conversations between a researcher and a participant. Unlike other qualitative research methods, IDI’s focus on individual opinions, experiences, and behaviors rather than group dynamics. This allows for a deeper understanding of the participant’s thoughts and feelings, providing researchers with detailed insights that may not emerge in a group setting.

The IDI process begins with the researcher setting up a meeting with the participant at a mutually agreed time and location. This could be in person, over the phone, or through video conferencing. The researcher then conducts the conversation, following a pre-defined interview guide that covers all the relevant topics. The interviewer encourages the participant to speak freely and openly without interruptions or judgments, ensuring the conversation flows smoothly. IDI’s typically last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the topic and the depth of information required.

Why is it important?

IDI’s are essential in gaining a deeper understanding of a specific topic or issue, making it an invaluable tool for market researchers and social scientists alike. By having a one-on-one conversation, researchers can explore the participant’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations in detail, providing a more comprehensive and nuanced perspective. This can be especially useful when researching complex topics that require a deeper understanding, such as consumer behavior, brand perception, and social attitudes.

Moreover, IDI’s also allow for the exploration of sensitive topics that may not be appropriate in a group setting. Participants may feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings in a private conversation, leading to more honest and authentic responses. This allows researchers to gather more accurate data, leading to more reliable insights and conclusions.

Who uses it?

IDI’s are widely used in market research and social sciences, making it a popular tool among researchers, academics, and practitioners. In market research, IDI’s are used to understand consumer behavior, preferences, and attitudes towards a product or service. This helps companies to tailor their marketing strategies and offerings to meet the needs and expectations of their target audience. IDI’s are also used in social sciences to explore complex social phenomena, such as cultural norms, social relationships, and attitudes towards specific issues.

Use cases and applicability:

IDI’s are used in various industries and fields, including healthcare, education, finance, and market research. Some common use cases include:

1. Understanding customer needs and preferences: IDI’s are used in market research to understand consumers’ needs, preferences, and motivations. This helps companies to design products and services that meet the needs of their target audience.

2. Investigating customer satisfaction: IDI’s are used to gather feedback on products and services, allowing companies to identify areas for improvement and enhance customer satisfaction.

3. Exploring employee engagement: IDI’s are used by organizations to understand their employees’ perspectives, attitudes, and challenges, helping them to improve engagement and productivity.

4. Investigating social phenomena: In social sciences, IDI’s are used to explore complex social phenomena, such as attitudes towards race, gender, and social class, providing valuable insights for policy makers and practitioners.


IDI’s are also commonly referred to as In-Depth Interviews, One-on-One Interviews, Qualitative Interviews, and Individual Interviews. Regardless of the term used, the key purpose remains the same – to gain a deeper and more personal understanding of a particular topic or issue.


Individual Depth Interviews (IDI’s) are a valuable tool in gaining a deeper understanding of a specific topic or issue. Through one-on-one conversations, researchers can explore the participant’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations, leading to more comprehensive and nuanced insights. IDI’s are widely used in market research and social sciences, making it an essential tool for researchers, academics, and practitioners. Their ability to provide detailed and personal perspectives on complex and sensitive topics makes them a valuable asset in understanding human behavior and society.

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