Stakeholder interviews

As UX architect's and consultants we all have seen or at least heard about stakeholder interviews. In this blog i will show you how to prepare for stakeholder interviews . So let us see how we go about. Before a stakeholder interview is conducted a invite letter is prepared to send across the stakeholders. I am going to speak about the invite letter here, You will learn how to create one, send it and then conduct the stakeholder interviews.

Two types of stakeholder interviews
In person interviews - interview may last from 30 minutes to 60 minutes
Group interviews - with 4-5 people it will usually take more than 60 minutes

Lets begin

Step 1: Decide the type of interview you are going forward. If you are going with the group interview then there will be a slight change in the Agenda of the interview, the change i will explain in the below sections.

Step 2: Create the invite letter. The stakeholder interviews are done based on some questions, these questions are wrapped in a invite letter and send. A typical invite letter will have the below section. Take a word doc and illustrate the below sections and Magic happens - you have prepared the stake holder invite letter.


  • Objective of the stakeholder interview

  • Scope

  • Venue

  • Agenda

  • Questionnaire

A typical objective can be
"The stakeholder interview is designed to gather business insights form the key experts who are working with the product. The focus of the interview is to gather the business needs and user needs form the stakeholders. A set of suggestive questions will be posed and their list is at the end of this invite letter."

A typical scope can be
"The stakeholder holder interviews is totally focused on improving the user experience of the site. The inputs gathered will help us to define the persona and usability goals."

"You know what should go here - when where you are going to conduct it"
If there is a bridge booked then, mention the bridge numbers.

Agenda is a little tricky, i am giving you a example. Please mention the time zones correctely, EST or IST.....
A sample questionnaire is mentioned below. You can tweak the questions below and send this word doc to the stakeholders .

1. Define purpose/vision for the site

* What is the purpose of the site?

2. Develop goals for the site

* How would you define a successful Web site for your organization?
* What does success look like? How will you know when you have been successful?
* How would you describe the site?
* From an organization’s viewpoint?
* From a user’s viewpoint?

3. Define audiences & goals

* Who are the users of the site? (Primary and secondary users)
* How would you describe the users? (User characteristics, i.e., age, experience, education, etc.)
* Why will they come to the site? (User needs, interests, and goals)
* When and where will users access the site? (User environment and context)
* How will users access the site? (User computer settings, i.e., connection speed, resolution, etc.)

4. Conduct task analysis and prioritize tasks

* What will users do on the site? (User tasks, content, features and functionality)
* Which tasks are critical to users’ success on the Web site? (Criticality)
* Which tasks are most important to users? (Importance)
* Which features of the site will users use the most? (Frequency)
* Which features are prone to usability issues? (Vulnerability)
* Which tasks are critical to the organization’s success on the Web site?
* How often will users frequent your Web site?
* What will compel users to return to your Web site?

5. Determine measurable usability objectives

* Which tasks should users be able to accomplish easily with few errors? (Efficiency)
* Which tasks should users be able to finish quickly and efficiently? (Effectiveness)
* What level of satisfaction should users have after using the site? (Enjoyability)

6. Discuss expectations, requirements & preferences

* What is your vision of what the site should do?
* Describe your initial view of the project. What do you think the project should entail?
* What prompted the redesign?
* Who will be the key point of contact?
* Are there any restraints, mandates, or guidelines for the site?
* Are there any sites you would like to model or a particular style that you prefer?
* What characteristics/attributes/attitude should the site convey to users?

7. Determine accessibility requirements and needs

* Is the site currently accessible?
* What type of accessibility testing has been done?
* What types of accessibility tools are being used?
* Who is the key point of contact on accessibility issues?

8. Identify available resources and training needs

* What level of resources is available for site updating and maintenance?
* Do you have content writers skilled in writing for the Web?
* Are there graphic designers on staff?
* Who will be responsible for programming and maintaining the site?
* Who is in charge of site marketing and promotion?

9. Discuss initial technology needs

* What are your hosting needs?
* Do you currently have a domain name or do you need a new one?
* Are you currently using a content management system? If so, which one?
* Are you currently logging Web metrics? If so, what metrics are you currently capturing?
* Do you currently have a search engine? If so, what type of search are you using?

10. Timeline and Project Plan

Step 3: Send the invite letter.

Step 4: Conduct the stakeholder interviews.

The above composed docs can be send as an invite letter to the stakeholders. The idea behind the invite letter is to make sure the stakeholder knows what you will ask and they have clue, and if they want to do some R&D they can do and come.

Happy stakeholder interviews.
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