In this article, we will identify the primary stakeholders in a UX project and explain what stakeholder interviewing is and what role it plays in the design process. Curious to learn what impact stakeholder interviews can have on the final product? Take a look at our post to find out!
Stakeholder interviews – table of contents:
- Who are the stakeholders in a UX project?
- What are a stakeholder interviews?
- The value of customer interviews in the design process
- The role of user interviews in the design process
- The gains of consulting the design and development team
- Stakeholder interviews – summary
Who are the stakeholders in a UX project?
By definition, project stakeholders are those who influence and are influenced by a project. We can divide them divided into three groups – the first includes the business clients who commissioned the project, financed it and profited from it. The second group is the users – they will interact with the product, use it, evaluate it as well as bear all expenses if necessary. The third group consists of those responsible for designing and implementing the product – depending on the structure of the organization, these are business analysts, UX researchers, UX designers, UI designers, project managers, developers, or software testers.
What are a stakeholder interviews?
Since the clients are the dominant figures in the project, the team research team should focus on them by conducting an in-depth interview first. Such a conversation becomes the best way to prepare for the project. It should reveal valuable knowledge our clients have concerning their users, gathered data, experience with mishaps and successes as well as their company’s outlook for the future.
Whether we interview clients or users, the principles remain similar. Let’s remember to prepare an interview script, ask open-ended questions, avoid suggesting answers and judge our respondents. Provide a safe space, inform the interviewee about the purpose of the conversation, its planned course and estimated duration. Don’t forget to ask for permission to record the stakeholder interviews.
The interview itself can take a more or less formal tone, regardless of mode, whether it’s stationary or remote via instant messaging. In addition to the person interviewing during such a meeting, there should also be an observer who will take notes and monitor the respondent’s behavior during the answers. It may provide extra guidance for the researchers of the project!
The value of customer interviews in the design process
An interview with the client is one of the first things to work out, as it helps to understand the overall project designation as well as the client’s goal. Then, we will find out what the problem is that he approached us with, whether he has looked for a solution before – and if so, what went wrong then. Such an interview conducted at an early stage will allow us to know better and understand the client, his point of view, and expectations of our team and the design process.
Just as it is crucial to understand the user in the UX process, it is equally important to understand the client. This will avoid misunderstandings and provide us with extra intelligence right from the start.
The role of user interviews in the design process
The significance of conducting interviews with users in the UX design process needs no explanation. They become the target of the product we implement, so it is their problems, pains needs as well as desires that provide us clues and keep us on the right path to successful solutions. In-depth interviews with users allow us to test previous hypotheses, discover their opinions about the existing solution or the competition, and learn about their emotions and feelings about using the product. It will also help verify the information provided to us about the users by the client.
The collected findings become the solid foundation for our team to create a persona – our sketched projection that overshadows throughout all later stages and keeps reminding us of our target customers’ problems we’re trying to solve.
The gains of consulting the design and development team
Having acquired the requirements, and goals together with the motivations of the business (the client) as well as the expectations and needs of the users, we should focus on yet another crucial aspect – technological limitations. It is worthwhile from the early stages of the project to consult between the design and development teams, discuss current problems, ask questions and try to understand the work and point of view of the other party.
Instead of calling them official interviews, as in the case of users or the client, we would rather say it’s like maintaining good relations and efficient communication within the team. Such a move enhances an easy and efficient flow of information between designers and developers. It will also lead us to acknowledge technological requirements, and in turn, facilitate the design and implementation of the product. Let’s show our designs to developers, ask about technological limitations, and educate each other to get the best possible results.
Stakeholder interviews – summary
In conclusion, interviews conducted with the client and users, as well as efficient communication between members of the design and development team, play a key role in the UX/UI design process. Reliably conducted interviews and carefully written requirements are the backbone, the masterplan as well as the core “signpost” on the way to the goal – executing the project.
Gathering requirements described in more detail in a previous article and exchanging current information or uncertainties within the team are two key factors that make a sound design process happen. With these, your team will identify hotspots at an early stage, and detect errors in the design to avoid later unnecessary modifications connected with additional costs or delays.
- What is UX research?
- Types of UX research
- What are research questions and how to write them?
- Requirements gathering process for UI/UX projects
- Why are stakeholder interviews crucial for the design process?
- How to leverage our gathered customer data?
- How to create a good UX research plan?
- How to choose a research method?
- How can pilot testing improve UX research?
- UX study participant recruitment
- Channels and tools for finding UX research participants
- Screener survey for UX Research
- UX Research Incentives
- UX research with children
- Discovery research methods
- What is desk research?
- How to conduct user interviews?
- How to conduct a diary studies?
- What are focus groups in research?
- What is ethnographic research?
- Survey research
- What is card sorting in UX?
- What is evaluative research?
- How to conduct usability testing?
- When and how to run preference testing?