Creating a detailed stakeholder analysis is fundamentally when you are planning to build a usable web site.

Prior to a workshop I've tried to list the most common stakeholders that are likely to visit a typical corporate web site. Have I missed any? (I'm aware that the stakeholders could be broken down into sub groups)

  • Potential customers and buying customers
  • Media/Bloggers
  • Sub contractors
  • Partners
  • Investers
  • Job seekers
  • Trainees
  • Co-workers
  • It would be helpful if you defined "typical corporate website." While they may overlap, different stakeholders exist for B2C and B2B sites. Yes, both have customers, but I wouldn't lump together a media buyer on Clear Channel's site with a teenager on FYE's site.
    – Taj Moore
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 23:14
  • Yes, I understand your point. I asked the question to get an broad overview of the different visitors. It is of course necessary to dig deeper into the visitors behaviors and demographics. I feel that it is a good starting point when doing a workshop with the clients so that they could understand that they could communicate with more visitor types than just their customers. Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 8:19
  • @TonyBolero: If we've answered your question, you can select the best solution so that if anyone comes across the same problem in the future, they know the course of action.
    – dnbrv
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 18:40

3 Answers 3


The most common type of user is the 'unknown user' ...

.. and the only effective way to find out about this unknown user type, is through tailored research into your client's company ;)

Sorry for what sounds like a really flippant response, but I genuinely think that a one-size-fits-all approach goes directly against the fundamental philosophy of user-centred design.

By all means provide an example of different types of stakeholder, but be careful not to influence your clients too much.

Listen to what they have have to say - draw up your list from that.

EDIT: If you would like to supply your client with a list of example stakeholders, I would suggest drawing up a list of specific stakeholders for a different type of business. This way the client will have a good guide, but won't be influenced in a non-constructive way.


If your goal is to make your clients aware that there are many more types of stakeholder than they have in mind, your list of stakeholders should…

  1. Be somewhat generic rather than exhaustive
  2. Spark conversation and exploration, rather than interrogation
  3. Be an iterative work in progress that you update with feedback from each presentation

In sum, this list of stakeholders is something to present at the beginning of your process as a conversation starter. If your presentation is supposed to lead into a working session to define stakeholders, cater to that. If it's just a part of a larger intro, give some time to conversation, but "parking lot" the deeper discussion for the right time.

On a side note, try to include at least one stakeholder who might never visit the website, but still benefits from its existence. For example, a regular joe trying to get a part for his car at an auto shop won't ever go to the corporate site for ordering parts, but they would much rather hear "it says we'll have it here Wednesday" than hear "I can't tell when they'll deliver so I'll call you when the part is in."

  • Re. Point number 1 - I think it would be better to draw up a list of very specific stakeholders for a very different type of business. This way the client will have a very good guide, and won't be influenced in a non-constructive way. Generic is rarely useful in my experience. Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 17:49
  • What I had in mind was prototypical (or archetypal?). As long as it gets people thinking rather than whittling at details.
    – Taj Moore
    Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 18:19

Normally while doing Requirements Engineering, one of the important stakeholders role is the Marketing group/Team of the related company, cos of their specific concerns and normally they have better ideas about the company.

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