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Streaming sessions

There are two ways you can involve stakeholders in a user session: - By letting them join the same session you're in with the user - By streaming the session internally, and letting stakeholders join the stream.

Letting stakeholders join the same session you're in with the user

We strongly recommend this approach unless you have a good reason not to do it. Being involved in the session directly gives stakeholders a better opportunity to engage, ask questions and develop empathy. Make sure you brief stakeholders beforehand so they understand the goals, the agenda, and the points you want to discuss with the user. You should still lead the majority of the session, but leave time for them to ask their questions.

The caveat of this approach is that it only works with one or two stakeholders. Having any more join a session can make the whole experience awkward and disturbing for your interviewee and skew results. Make sure to keep the number of stakeholders in interviews low and let the interviewee(s) know beforehand that they will be joining, and what to expect.

Streaming the session internally

You have developed a great collaborative research culture and several stakeholders are eager to join every session you have. Awesome! At this point demand outweighs supply and you can't fit everyone in user sessions directly. You should start thinking about streaming sessions. This lets you talk to the user directly and stakeholders watch through a virtual observation room setup.

This approach can be great for giving multiple stakeholders the opportunity to join, but due to its more passive nature, it's less engaging. There is a real risk of stakeholders tuning out during the session and not getting any benefits. To avoid this, make sure you've set collaborative note taking tasks for them and give them an opportunity to ask questions and interact with the session through slack or other communication methods built-in to your streaming tool.

Here are a few guides on how to set up streaming in popular video conferencing tools: