Navigating UX Design with Stakeholder Interviews

What is a stakeholder interviews?

Stakeholder interviews are conversations with a person or a group of people who have a vested interest in the success of a product or service.

Stakeholders can include clients, users, project managers, developers, and other members of the UX team.

Stakeholder interviews are typically conducted at the beginning of a product development lifecycle to gather information about the project’s goals, the needs of the users, and any constraints that may affect the design.

The information collected from stakeholder interviews can help UX designers to:

  • Define the scope and parameters of the project
  • Set clear goals and objectives
  • Establish milestones and priorities
  • Identify and understand the needs of the users
  • Uncover any potential challenges or constraints

Who is a stakeholder?

A stakeholder is anyone with a vested interest in the project. In the context of UX design, stakeholders can include:

  • Clients: The people or organizations who are paying for the project
  • Users: The people who will be using the product or service
  • Project managers: The people who are responsible for overseeing the project
  • Developers: The people who will be building the product or service
  • Other members of the UX team: Other designers, researchers, and writers who are working on the project
Illustration of different types of stakeholders

Let’s assume that a UX designer is working on a new website for a clothing company. The designer interviews the following stakeholders:

  • The company’s CEO to learn about the company’s business goals and the overall vision for the website
  • The company’s marketing manager to learn about the company’s target audience and the key messages that need to appear on the website
  • A group of potential users to learn about their needs and preferences when it comes to online shopping

The information gathered from these interviews helps the designer develop a clear understanding of the project’s goals.

Benefits of conducting stakeholder interviews

There are many benefits to conducting stakeholder interviews in UX design. Some of the most important benefits include:

  • Gaining a deeper understanding of the project’s goals and objectives. Stakeholder interviews can help UX designers better understand the project’s business goals and any constraints that may affect the design.
  • Improving communication and collaboration. Stakeholder interviews can improve communication and collaboration between the UX team and other stakeholders, like clients and developers. By talking to stakeholders early on in the project, UX designers can get acceptance of their designs and avoid any surprises down the road.
  • Identifying and mitigating risks. Stakeholder interviews can help UX designers to identify and minimize potential risks to the project. For example, a UX designer may learn from a stakeholder that a particular feature is essential to the success of the project but that it is also technically challenging to implement. This information can help the UX designer to develop a plan to mitigate the risk.
  • Creating a more user-centered design. Stakeholder interviews can help UX designers to create a more user-centered design. By talking to users directly, UX designers can learn about their needs, preferences, and pain points. Designers can use these insights to design a product or service that is truly useful and enjoyable for users.

Overall, stakeholder interviews are an essential part of any UX project. Thanks to them, UX designers can gain a deeper understanding of the entirety of the project.

How to conduct a stakeholder interviews?

Stakeholder interviews are a valuable tool for UX designers to learn about the project’s goals and user needs. Typically, designers conduct them early on to gain a deeper understanding of the problem they are trying to solve. It does not mean they can be performed exclusively at the beginning of the product development lifecycle. However, it is worth noting that conducting them as early as possible maximizes the benefits that come with them.

Diagram of steps in conducting stakeholder interview. Each box contains different step and a small arrow leads from one step to another. The steps are as follows: clarify your own research goals, identify stakeholders for the project, prepare questions for stakeholder interview, conduct stakeholder interviews, organize data and analyze results, share your findings.

Step 1: Clarify your own research goals

Before conducting stakeholder interviews, clarify your research goals. What do you want to learn from the interviews? What information will you need to make informed decisions about the project?

If this interview is a part of a user research, and if you created a user research plan, then this part is probably already done, and you should align to previously established research goals.

Step 2: Identify stakeholders for the project

With your research goals in mind, you must identify the right stakeholders to interview. Consider who has the most relevant information and insights to share for specific research goals and research questions.

Here are some examples of stakeholders who may be relevant to a UX design project:

  • Clients: The people or organizations who are paying for the project
  • Users: The people who will be using the product or service
  • Project managers: The people who are responsible for overseeing the project
  • Developers: The people who will be building the product or service
  • Business stakeholders: People from other departments within the organization who will be affected by the project, such as marketing, sales, and customer support

You may also want to interview stakeholders outside the organization, such as industry experts and analysts.

Here are some tips for identifying stakeholders:

  • Review the project charter or scope document. This document should list the key stakeholders for the project.
  • Talk to your project manager. They can help you identify the stakeholders with the most relevant information to share.
  • Brainstorm a list of potential stakeholders. With your UX design team, consider everyone who may be affected by the project, directly or indirectly.
  • Prioritize the stakeholders. Not all stakeholders are created equal. Some stakeholders will have more influence over the project than others. Ultimately, your clients must be satisfied with the solution you present them with. Prioritize the stakeholders who are most important to interview.

Step 3: Prepare questions for stakeholder interviews

Once you have identified the stakeholders for your project, you can start developing interview questions and scheduling interviews.

Let’s consider the clothing company website example. For this project, the UX designer might identify the following stakeholders:

  • The company’s CEO and marketing manager
  • A group of potential users
  • The project manager
  • The lead developer
  • The company’s customer support manager

The designer would then prioritize these stakeholders based on their level of influence over the project and the relevance of their information. For example, the CEO and marketing manager would be high-priority stakeholders, as they have the most influence over the project and can provide insights into the company’s business goals and target audience.

Tips for preparing interview questions:

  • Keep your research goals and research questions in mind. What do you want to learn from the interview? Focus your questions on gathering the necessary information to achieve your research goals.
  • Ask open-ended questions. Avoid yes-or-no questions. Instead, ask questions that require the stakeholder to explain their reasoning or provide examples.
  • Be specific. Ask questions that are relevant to the stakeholder’s role and experience.
  • Be objective. Avoid asking biased questions or questions that suggest the answer. Be careful with adjectives – let the study participant choose their own words to describe their experience. 

Preparing follow-up questions to probe deeper into the stakeholder’s responses is also a good practice.

For example, if a stakeholder says that “users have difficulty completing the checkout process,” you could ask them to explain what precisely makes the process difficult and what suggestions they have for improvement.

It is important to note that you do not need a scripted interview. The goal is to have a natural conversation with the stakeholder and to gather their insights. However, having a list of prepared questions will help you stay on track and ensure you cover all the important topics.


The UX designer for the clothing company website project might prepare the following interview questions for the CEO:

  • What new website is going to achieve? How are you going to measure the success of your website?
  • Tell me more about your business. Who is your main target audience?
  • What are your thoughts on the early design concepts I shared with you?

Step 4: Conduct stakeholder interviews

With interview questions ready, you can start conducting interviews with stakeholders. Here are some tips for performing them:

  • Schedule the interviews in advance and share the topic of the interview in advance. It will give the stakeholders time to prepare and think about their answers.
  • Find a quiet and private place to conduct the interviews. You want to create an environment where stakeholders feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feedback.
  • Start by building rapport with the stakeholders. Ask them a few light-hearted questions to get to know them and to put them at ease.
  • Ask your prepared questions in a relaxed and conversational manner. Consider framing the interview as having a “coffee” with a stakeholder. Allow the conversation to flow naturally. Follow up on the stakeholder’s responses with additional questions for more detail.
  • Take notes throughout the interview. Gathering data is the whole point of conducting the interview, so make sure you are not losing any information. Take notes, or better yet, have someone do them for you—or even better yet, record conversations to transcribe them later. 
  • End the interview by thanking the stakeholder for their time and insights.

Tips for conducting stakeholder interviews

  • Be an active listener. Pay attention to what the stakeholder says and ask clarifying questions as needed.
  • Be mindful of body language, both your participants’ and your own. Refrain from showing signs of what answer you expect, and ask more questions if you notice that the stakeholder has something more to say.
  • Be respectful of the stakeholder’s time. Don’t ask unnecessary questions or go off on tangents.
  • Be objective. Avoid expressing your own opinions or biases during the interview.
  • Be open to feedback. The goal of the interview is to learn from the stakeholder, so be willing to hear their feedback, even if it is critical.

Step 5: Organize data and analyze results

You conducted interviews and collected information. Now, you will need to organize your data. Organize your notes; if you were recording your meeting, you must transcribe the interviews. After that, analyze your results by identifying key themes and insights that can inform your UX design.

To transcribe an interview, you can do it yourself, hire a professional transcription service, or use transcription software. We write more about transcription software here.

It is also worth adding that now provides a transcription feature designed specifically for performing stakeholder interviews.

An image of transcription feature in Talebook platform.

Once you have transcribed the interviews, you can analyze the results. Here are a few tips:

  • Read through the transcripts carefully. Highlight any key themes or insights that you notice.
  • Identify common pain points and frustrations. What are the stakeholders complaining about the most? What are their biggest challenges?
  • Look for opportunities for improvement. Based on the feedback from the stakeholders, what can you do to improve the user experience?

You can also use a qualitative data analysis software program to help you analyze the interview results. These programs can help you to identify patterns and trends in the data.

Step 6: Share your findings

You talked to your stakeholders. Now, it’s time to talk to your stakeholders.

As mentioned before, within your organization, you will encounter different groups of stakeholders – clients, other design team members, developers, etc. You are all working on the same project and have the same goal. It is beneficial if you all have the same set of data.

Since you will likely conduct stakeholder interviews with members of only one such group at a time, you need to present your findings to other stakeholders. It will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

There are a few different ways to share your findings. You could create a presentation, write a report, or share the transcripts of the interviews. The best way to share your findings will depend on your audience and the specific needs of your project.

Tips for sharing your findings

  • Tailor your message to your audience. What information is most important to each stakeholder group?
  • Use clear and concise language. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that your audience may not understand.
  • Be specific. Provide concrete examples and evidence to support your findings.
  • Be objective. Avoid expressing your own opinions or biases.
  • Be open to feedback. Encourage the stakeholders to ask questions and provide feedback on your findings. Elaborate if needed.


Returning to the clothing company website example, the UX researcher working on this project, after a stakeholder interview with a CEO, would create a presentation to share their findings with the project manager, lead developer, and the rest of the design team. The presentation would include the following information:

  • A summary of the key themes and insights from the interviews
  • A list of the stakeholders’ pain points and frustrations
  • Recommendations for how to improve the user experience based on the feedback from the stakeholders

The designer would also provide the stakeholders with copies of the interview transcripts so that they could review the findings in more detail.

With this new information, designers could move forward and make informed design decisions about the shape of the clothing company website. This way, the new website would align with all stakeholders’ needs and expectations.

Alternative Approach: Email Questions

Another way to conduct stakeholder interviews is to send 4-5 interview questions to each stakeholder via email. This approach can be helpful if you have many stakeholders or if you need to gather feedback quickly and if your stakeholders cannot give you synchronous meeting times.

To conduct email interviews, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the stakeholders you want to interview.
  2. Develop a list of 4-5 open-ended interview questions.
  3. Send the interview questions to the stakeholders in an email.
  4. Give the stakeholders a deadline to respond to the questions.
  5. Compile the responses from the stakeholders and analyze the results.

Tips for Email Interviews

  • Keep your interview questions short and to the point.
  • Focus on 4-5 main questions you want to ask.
  • Avoid asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no.
  • Give the stakeholders enough time to respond to the questions, but keep the intended timeframe of the project in mind.
  • Follow up with the stakeholders if they respond to the questions after the deadline.

Creating a Survey

Another alternative to stakeholder interviews is to create a survey. Surveys can be a good way to gather feedback from many stakeholders quickly and efficiently.

To create a survey, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the information you want to gather from the stakeholders.
  2. Develop a list of survey questions.
  3. Choose a survey platform.
  4. Send the survey to the stakeholders.
  5. Analyze the survey results.

Tips for Creating Surveys

  • Keep your survey questions short and to the point.
  • Use various question types, such as multiple choice, open-ended, and Likert scale questions.
  • Avoid asking leading questions.
  • Test your survey before you send it out to the stakeholders.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Email Questions and Surveys


  • Email questions and surveys can be a quick and efficient way to gather feedback from many stakeholders.
  • They are both relatively low-cost to conduct.
  • They can be performed remotely, so there is no need to schedule time to meet with each stakeholder in person.


  • Email questions and surveys can be less in-depth than traditional stakeholder interviews.
  • Getting a high response rate for email questions and surveys can be challenging.
  • It can be not easy to analyze the results of email questions and surveys, especially if you have many responses.

Email questions and surveys are a viable alternative to traditional stakeholder interviews. Still, they are best used when you cannot perform the conversation in person.

Examples of Stakeholder Interviews Questions

A UX designer is working on a new website for a clothing company. The designer might ask the following interview questions:


  • What are the short- and long-term business goals for the clothing website?
  • Who are the target customers for the website?
  • Have you discovered customers’ needs and pain points when shopping for clothes online?
  • What are the company’s unique selling propositions (USPs)?
  • How does the company differentiate itself from its competitors?

Website design and functionality

  • What are the key features and functionality that must be included on the website?
  • What are the main user flows on the website?
  • What are the company’s branding guidelines, and how should they be reflected in the website design?
  • What are the company’s technical requirements for the website?
  • What are the company’s budget and timeline for the website development project?

User experience (UX)

  • What are the most important tasks that users should be able to complete on the website quickly and efficiently?

Customer support

  • How do you want to provide customer support on the website?
  • What are the most common customer support inquiries?

Analytics and Reporting

  • What data must you collect from the website, and how will you use it?
  • What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the website?
  • How will you measure the success of the website?

By asking these and other relevant questions, the UX designer can gather the information they need to create a user-centered design that meets the needs of the business and the users.


Stakeholder interviews are an essential part of any UX design project. By conducting stakeholder interviews early in the design process, UX designers can gain a deep understanding of the project’s goals, the needs of the users, and any constraints that may affect the design. Gathered data serves to create a user-centered design that meets the needs of all stakeholders.

Here is a summary of the key steps involved in conducting stakeholder interviews:

  1. Identify the stakeholders. Who has a vested interest in the success of the project? Who has relevant information to share?
  2. Prepare interview questions. Focus on open-ended questions, allowing the stakeholders to share their thoughts and experiences in their own words.
  3. Conduct the interviews. Be an active listener and take notes throughout the interview.
  4. Transcribe and analyze the results. Look for key themes and insights that can inform your UX design.
  5. Share your findings with the stakeholders. Ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the design decisions are based on the needs and expectations of the stakeholders.

Discover more

Getting clients: Dealing with tough client questions by Webflow University.