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What kind of interviews don’t vampires like? Stakeholder interviews.

File Under: Essential Discovery Techniques

The Delicate Art of Interviewing Stakeholders

“Describe the purpose of this project in your own words.”

“What’s the most important thing for us to get right?”

“How would you characterize the target audience?”

“If you could ask users one thing, what would it be?”

“How will you know if this is successful?”

Don’t Expect All the Answers

Lines of Questioning

Domain questions

Audience questions

Constraints questions

Asking the Right Questions

Curiosity Mindset

  • Before: “What are your pain points?”
  • After: “Walk me through the process of applying for a reciprocal license.”

Skepticism Mindset

  • Before: “Describe the main users of this product.”
  • After: “Why does the organization refer to this group as ‘power users?’”

Humility Mindset

  • Before: “We’re out of time. Thanks for participating.”
  • After: “We’ve got 10 minutes left, so I want to ask, is there anything we didn’t talk about that you feel we should?”



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Dan Brown

Designer • Co-founder of @eightshapes • Author of 3 books on UX • http://bit.ly/danbooks • Board gamer • Family cook