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The essence of using the stakeholder interview
The essence of the stakeholder interview is to have face-to-face conversations with relevant stakeholders and to obtain the targeted, design-relevant information from people who have a stake in the success of the product and a say in the decision process.
Although the concept of stakeholder would broadly and fundamentally mean all stakeholders, in UX design projects the concept of stakeholder is narrower. It refers only to those within the organisation who can provide useful advice and critical expectations about the product.
The insights of stakeholders and decision makers can all contribute to streamlining the design process. In addition, stakeholders have a vested interest in the success of the product, either personally or professionally.
The stakeholder interview at Ergomania
The stakeholder interviews at Ergomania are semi-guided. They are usually 1-2 hours long and are conducted with the relevant stakeholders individually or in groups.
During the interviews, we collect expectations, all the information needed for successful planning and identify the macro and micro-conversions, KPIs and OKRs that are most important for the client.
During the discussions, we also provide feedback to the client on how feasible and realistic their ideas are from the users’ perspective. Based on the interviews, project directions for more complex projects are jointly defined in a workshop.
Main methods of the stakeholder interview
Stakeholder interviews are organised with stakeholders and internal parties concerned after the project has started. Each stakeholder is first interviewed individually about the metrics and objectives he or she personally wants to achieve in the project.
We have found that interviewing no more than 5-6 people is optimal, because this way we can achieve our primary goal: to get everyone to give us the information they need, taking the time to tell us everything they want to say about the project.
An essential element of a successful stakeholder interview is a pre-written script, or scenario, from which the interviews are conducted. If there are many participants in the interview (at which point there are only people involved), a summary is prepared. It is then critical that two people conduct the interview: one to take notes and one to conduct the interview. Interviews with stakeholders are rarely conducted only after prior consultation because of their confidential nature.
What do our clients gain from a stakeholder interview?
Ergomania’s stakeholder interviews allow internal stakeholders and decision makers to express their thoughts on the project, allowing us to gather important information on the three main areas of UX design:
- User needs, or how the design will help users
- Technical constraints, i.e. what existing or future technical barriers will need to be overcome
- Business goals, or how the design will support business goals
What is the role of customers in the decision maker interview?
We ask our clients to do three things before the decision maker interview:
- Comment on the interview scenario
- Brief on the summary of objectives, providing relevant previous documents
- Providing interview participants and stakeholder map/list
Outcome of a successful stakeholder interview
The end result of the stakeholder interview is a summary of the interview, with the findings and information extracted presented in a presentation or memo.