Design Process
min read

10 More Questions to Ask at Stakeholder Interviews

10 More Questions to Ask at Stakeholder Interviews
Table of contents

While client specifications are always incoming and give insights on what they expect from a project, conducting stakeholder interviews helps you to gain an extra bit of information that may have been missed otherwise. It helps you in doing what design does best, i.e. - solve problems, one question at a time!

Whether it is for making iterations of an existing product or for a new product, stakeholder interview questions provide designers with invaluable insights. These insights can help in either building a new product suitable to the vision of the client and user or help in modifying a product to better suit user needs and client satisfaction. Thus, conducting a stakeholder interview during the discovery phase becomes critical to the overall future of the design process of the product.

Our previous blog on stakeholder interview questions enabled us to get valuable insights irrespective of whether the product was new or pre-existing. The questions gave designers a deeper understanding of who the client was, what they were hoping to achieve in a given timeframe, who the target users were, and whether there was any available research.

For pre-existing products, the questions mainly revolve around what problems users currently face when using the product, and current assets that the stakeholder might want to share. For new products, questions focus on how stakeholders might define the success of the product, and possible challenges users might face when using the product.

Staying in tune with our previous blog on 10 crucial questions to ask during stakeholder interviews, here’s a list of 10 more questions that you should ask your stakeholders when starting out with a new project. The questions given below are a combination of those that are asked to stakeholders to better understand a pre-existing product as well as a new product.

1. What problems do customers currently have with the product you’re offering?

Knowing the current bandwidth of the product you will be working on, will help in understanding what customers are lacking in experience and requirements. Asking stakeholders what problems their customers face when interacting with the current version of a product or service helps in finding the loopholes that are already present. This ensures quick work because then the design process can start off by eliminating the pre-existing problems. This helps get a wider scope into the specific pain points of the user and why those pain points exist.

2. How would you define the success of the project/service?

The point of this question is to understand how the effort fits into the business’s plan of action. Understanding the definite parameter of success will aid in feeding into a concrete product vision as well. A definitive definition of the success of a project/service will enable a clear idea as to the efforts a segment might need, what changes would be needed in the existing state of the project, and so on. This is a vital question that needs to be asked during every stakeholder interview.

3. What actions do you want/expect users to take?

By knowing the expected action and reaction of the user, we get a clearer idea of the product and the path to be designed. This also gives a clearer take on who are the target users. Also, knowing the path of action ensures the impact of the product is real and whole, with little to no glitches during task completion.

4. What are the metrics you’re currently focussing on and would want to work on first?

Often people seek to find improvements in whatever they are measured by. Thus, by asking for those specific metrics, you will get a better understanding of the motivations that drive your stakeholder. Irrespective of how creative your ideas may be, it’ll be difficult to achieve client goals unless you’ve got a clear understanding of who they are. If you’re able to create a positive impact on them, then you’ll be better equipped to help them achieve their product’s success.

5. Are there possible challenges that might prevent the success of the project?

Accurately asking the stakeholder about what they perceive as possible challenges within the organisation would be a great heads up for potential threats to the smooth running of the project. There can be precise industry regulations or specific brand guidelines that are to be followed. Having a clear idea of such things well in advance helps save unnecessary wastage of time and also ensures better organisation of ideas and data.

6. What assets currently exist, that you’d be willing to share?

It wouldn’t make sense to reinvent assets that a client already possesses. Thus, before starting on a project, it would make sense to ask for specific insights, data, visuals, and/or whatever there is, that could provide help along the way. Having such vital information prior to starting with the project, ensures you’re able to spend more time on creative aspects of the process that are crucial and that matter.

7. What possible assumptions are you making about your users?

We often make biases even without realising and it's quite normal too. Knowing what are the biases that are preventing your client from achieving desired results from users will give clarity on the changes that are needed on a project.

8. What extent of collaboration would you like to work on?

Every client has a different way of working. While there are some that prefer being a part of the project right from inception to closure, there are also those that prefer leaving you to work on your own and are only focused on the final result. Having a concrete answer to this question will help to ensure that you’ve managed to tailor your project work in tune with the work of the client.

9. How quickly will you be able to provide feedback?

Feedback is crucial to the work that’s being done. It helps in knowing whether the project is going in the direction as is envisioned by the client. However, delayed and untimely feedback can also lead to delays in completion and hand-off. Thus, it helps to know how soon would the client be able to provide feedback and ensure that they’re able to stick to the given deadline. This way, you won’t be left waiting hopeless, without an end in sight.

10. Are there any reference examples that you’d like to share?

While clients don’t like to feel that they’re copying competitors and brands from other industries, there may be certain specifications that they’re comparing your work with. This is a vital question to ask because unless they give clarity on the same, you wouldn’t clearly know what’s in their mind. Also, having an answer to this question will also give you insight into the kind of style your client is looking for and help you improve on it too.

Conclusion

A stakeholder interview is like the initial step on the long road of the complete UX process. Thus, it helps in ensuring that the very first step happens in a well-organised and planned manner. Every project comes with its own set of specifications. Having answers to the questions mentioned above and many similar ones, ensures you’re on the right track when getting started with it.

While client specifications are always incoming and give insights on what they expect from a project, conducting stakeholder interviews helps you to gain an extra bit of information that may have been missed otherwise. It helps you in doing what design does best, i.e. - solve problems, one question at a time!

Publish date
September 1, 2022
Last update
September 26, 2022
Written by
Artwork by
No art workers.
We'd love to talk about your business objectives