Discovery Questionnaire

The purpose of a discovery session is for the content strategist to learn to think like the stakeholders. It is great preparation for user interviews or voice and tone development.

This discovery questionnaire has four sections, which can flow from one to the next naturally, via conversation, or can be approached as four separate parts.


  1. Introduce the content strategist
    1. Be honest – “my goal is to learn how you think and what you will consider a success in this project.”
    2. Provide some personal information. It will make stakeholders feel more comfortable opening up.
  2. Ask the team to introduce themselves
    1. Include a relevant ice breaker, if possible, i.e. “and tell me your favorite part of your day”
    2. Ask for their personal goals in the meeting (optional)

Origin Story

  1. How did the company get started?
    1. Encourage details, even ones that “don’t matter”
  2. How did this product/project originate?
  3. What products/projects does it remind you of?
  4. What are your hopes and dreams for this project?


  1. If only one person could use this, who would you want it to be?
  2. What keeps that person up at night?
  3. What does he/she call the company asking?
  4. How do they feel when they finish using the product/service?
  5. What would you say to them if they were in the room here?
  6. What questions do you have about the people using this?

Creating a Plan

Consider these questions internally to identify the next steps for the project.

  1. Is there a website of current content?
    1. Yes: continue to question 2
    2. No: might need content creation
  2. Will website content need to be updated?
    1. Yes: might need content creation and a content audit
  3. Will website content need to be moved?
    1. Yes: might need a content gap analysis and a migration plan
  4. Does the company have brand or style guidelines?
    1. No: need to create guidelines
  5. How much does the company know about the audience?
    1. Little: need to do user interviews
  6. How similar is this project to others in the market?
    1. Not at all: need to do concept testing, maybe create a prototype
    2. Very: need to do a competitive audit

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