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Service Design Framework

Practices and tools for delivering optimal user experience journeys.


Stakeholder and customer interviews

Talk with the people that the project outcomes will impact or who have a stake in the success of the project. This can inform solutions, build trust, and drive alignment.


User interview script 18F website

Who’s involved

Researcher, notetaker, and stakeholders or customers


Throughout the Discover phase; plan to schedule interviews for 1–2 hours

How to do this method

1. Create a guide

Start by defining a few research goals. What do you want to learn from these interviews? Keeping these goals in mind, create a guide that includes topics you’d like to ask about, then fill in topics with some specific questions. These may be about a participant’s role in an organization, the organization itself, their needs and pain points, and what project success looks like for them.

2. Prepare for the interview

Before you conduct the interview, revisit the guide so you’re familiar with the material and can be more relaxed.

Whether you’re meeting virtually or in person, find a focused environment. When you start the interview, introduce yourself and any co-interviewers or notetakers. Explain why you’re interviewing them, but try not to bias their responses.

3. Conduct the interview

Adapt to where the participant takes the conversation. They’ll focus on their priorities, which can be telling. To keep from fully going off course, consult the interview guide to make sure you cover what’s important. Ask many “why is that” and “how do you do that” questions.

4. Follow up as needed

It’s a good practice to keep participants informed about how their insights have impacted the project. Your stakeholder map can help you decide how much to involve participants throughout the rest of the project.

More resources

“Conducting stakeholder interviews: 12 Golden Rules” (Laetitia Pouilly, Think) Article

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