Someone is a stakeholder when they care about the outcome of your project. They may be accountable for its success or failure. They may contribute to the care and maintenance of the product. Interviewing stakeholders helps us better understand not just what we’re designing, but how we’ll need to design it.
Different stakeholders influence the process differently, and you can’t plan for those vectors if you’re not aware of them. As a designer, understanding and acknowledging these factors, influences, and inputs can help put you on the right path toward a project’s goals.
- Establish goals. What you want to find out from interviewees?
- Identify stakeholders. The number and role of stakeholders will vary depending on the organization. In smaller companies, you may talk to the founder or CEO. In large organizations, department heads (or their proxies) may be who you need.
- Prepare questions. Keep them open ended and as a guide to the conversation.
- Document and analyze responses. Try organizing your research findings into categories: Business, Users, Problems, Fears, Motives, Competitive advantages, Solutions, Alternatives, and Unique value propositions.