Project stakeholders are any people with an invested interest in your project. These may include business owners and investors, business managers, marketing professionals, sales representatives, project managers, developers, network administrators, user experience engineers, customer support representatives, technicians, and end users.
Roles and Project Objectives
Individual stakeholders can offer distinct viewpoints and solutions to the design challenges related to a project’s objectives. It is important to include a variety of stakeholders throughout the project’s development lifecycle. Involving stakeholders in the decision-making process promotes their buy-in and support for the project, and the resulting website or application will be more thoroughly designed when everyone’s perspective has been considered.
- Business owners and investors offer the perspective of business goals.
- Business managers have concerns that relate to employee productivity.
- Marketing professionals and sales representatives are aware of users’ needs and preferences.
- Project managers need to ensure that project goals can be met on schedule.
- Developers may identify efficient ways to manage, store, and process data.
- Network administrators can suggest ways to organize and setup servers to support the data flow and expected user traffic.
- User experience engineers advocate user-friendly functionality and information flow.
- Customer support representatives and technicians are aware of the difficulties that end users currently have, and they may suggest improvements to the customer support process and the channels of communication that users have with the company.
- End users have specific needs and preferences with respect to your website and can voice their opinions to improve the customer experience.
Recruiting Participants for a Usability Study
Sometimes it may be difficult to get end users to participate in a design project. This may be due to the project’s budget, or the company’s belief that user feedback is not important in order to develop a good product. Some interfaces may be designed to support users that possess very specialized skills, and it may be challenging to find enough users to test the interface. In these cases, it is appropriate to consider representative users. Representative users are those can know enough about user needs, opinions, struggles, and preferences to serve as a proxy for them. Stakeholders from customer support, technical support, and sales interact frequently with customers and are likely to have noted some of their feedback. Treat representative users much like you would end users, by involving them in user research exercises and usability testing. It’s better to have feedback from representative users than no user feedback at all.