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Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences by Jesmond Allen, James Chudley

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Chapter 3: Planning and Conducting Effective Stakeholder Interviews

Stakeholder interviews are a fantastic way of finding out what your client wants from the work you are embarking on. They are designed to open a conversation between yourself and important members of your client’s team—the stakeholders. They are an opportunity for you as a designer to ask lots of questions up-front and really understand your client’s business and what they want from the work you’re doing for them.

Why are Stakeholder iNterviews important?

Stakeholder interviews are an important tool in the UX professional’s armory. They are a structured way for you to gain insights into the reasoning behind the project you are working on. How will success be measured? What do they really want from the project? Are there any intersecting projects? Are there any internal conflicts you should know about?

Another use for stakeholder interviews is to gain buy-in from senior stakeholders—they feel that they’ve had their say and will be more comfortable with your involvement. You’ll also find out about the background to your project, which may give you important insights into how to proceed with the design. Stakeholder interviews are a good opportunity to look out for potential conflicts between business goals and user requirements or even between key stakeholders.

These are key business requirements for your project. As a user-centered designer, it can be easy to get wrapped up in user requirements and assume that ...

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