You will need

pen and paper, dictation machine


approximately 60 minutes per user


4–15 users


2 – it depends on researcher’s experience

Use when...

  • you want to find what the current needs and wishes of the users are
  • you need to identify what the problem is and why
  • you need to understand the findings obtained through quantitative methods of investigation (e.g. from Questionnaires)

Do not use when...

  • you want to obtain a one-shot overview of your users’ opinions (we recommend to use questionnaire or a poll, instead)
  • you need the user to come up with creative solutions to various problems during interviews (Focus Group method is better suited for this purpose)


  1. Prepare a script with a particular order of questions.
  2. Test the course of an interview with a colleague.
  3. Think about the manner of recording the interview and prepare the equipment. Choose a nice place, select the participants and invite them to the place.
  4. The initial questions should break the ice. Continue with questions about users’ behavior and experience and finish with questions on users’ opinions, knowledge, and emotions. You do not have to strictly follow the script.
  5. As the informal farewell can provide you with the most valuable information, take your time with concluding the interview.
  6. Transcribe the interview and mark the important parts. Look for recurring themes.
  7. When finished with the interviews, summarize new information about the interviewed users. Use your results to create personas or when empathy mapping.

Keep in mind that...

  • processing and analyses of in-depth interviews might be time-consuming, but worth the results
  • you need to stay focused throughout the whole interview and show interest in what respondent says; watch out for body language
  • develop respondent’s answers with follow-up questions, simply go in depth

Find out more

In the exploring phase, you can use the following methods…

Desk Research

When you need to quickly obtain valuable information

When you need to collect a lot of opinions in a short time

When you need a quick feedback

Download the book Service Design in Libraries

It includes detailed descriptions of case studies from both the Czech Republic and Norway.

Download the book  

Get the design methods card set

You will always have a ready help, which will tell you how to proceed, and which tools to prepare.

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