India is a vast country which brings specific challenges when planning UX research. With a population of over 1.3 billion it is the second most populous country on earth and the seventh largest by land mass.
When we think about countries we tend to assume that the population all speak broadly the same language. Maybe some countries speak 2 or 3.
India has 23 official languages. English and Hindi are the most spoken and are the two that are officially recognised across India. However, if you wish to gather insight from across the geography you are going to encounter alternatives and you need to be ready for it.
We recently ran discovery research in India for a client that required us to speak with people north, south, east and west. If you are thinking about doing the same it is worth considering the language capabilities you will need in the UX research team you use.
Most teams will have Hindi and English language capabilities and that will enable you to cover the majority of the participants recruited, particularly in the north, east and west. In the south however, our recent participants spoke only Telugu. You could also need capabilities in Marathi, Kannada, Tamil and Malayam.
Whilst recruiting participants with these languages is not a problem, finding good UX research capability can be. Across our team we have wide language coverage but working out the logistics of who is available to run interviews with different people at different times based on language preference is not easy.
It is made even harder because if you wish to speak to female participants they may not be comfortable or allowed to speak with a male researcher. More on that in a future blog post.