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Expert Interview

Experts can get you up to speed quickly on a topic, giving you key insights into relevant history, context, and innovations.


Suggested Time

60-90 Minutes

Level of Difficulty


Materials Needed

Pens, camera, notebook


Interviewer, expert

Process Phase

Though the crux of Inspiration phase is talking with the people you’re designing for, you can gain valuable perspective by talking to experts. Experts can often give you a systems-level view of your project area, tell you about recent innovations—successes and failures—and offer the perspectives of organizations like banks, governments, or NGOs. You might also look to experts for specific technical advice.


  1. Determine what kind of expert you need. If you’re working in agriculture, perhaps an agronomist. In reproductive health? A doctor or policymaker may be a good bet.
  2. When recruiting your experts, give them a preview of the kinds of questions you’ll be asking and let them know how much of their time you’ll need.
  3. Choose experts with varying points of view. You don’t want the same opinions over and over.
  4. Ask smart, researched questions. Though you should come prepared with an idea of what you’d like to learn, make sure your game plan is flexible enough to allow you to pursue unexpected lines of inquiry.
  5. Record your Interview with whatever tools you have. A pen and paper work fine.