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If your newsroom wants to find out what readers or paying members value most about the coverage, or where they think it could be improved, you need to make sure you're asking the right questions.

The Membership Puzzle Project, founded by NYU's Studio 20 programme and Dutch news organisation De Correspondent, has recently spent time interviewing members to find out why they financially support De Correspondent.

The user research material they used is available in this post by research director Emily Goligoski. It explains how to set clear goals for what you want to find out, the type of questions you can ask, and how to make respondents feel comfortable.

"Don’t worry if you don’t get to all of the questions you intend to ask. Coming away with a rich set of learnings – including confirmations of what you expected to hear, rejections of your hypotheses, and surprise takeaways – is far more important than being completist," Goligoski writes.

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