This paper presents the initial findings of an interpretive research study into improved methods of information systems design through a focus on interaction between information systems practitioners and system stakeholders. It argues that root metaphors and mental models of participants in the systems design act can be identified through metaphor and language analysis. By making these potential models and root metaphors explicit in future interactions both IS practitioners and stakeholders will gain better understandings of their organizationís information systems requirements. Two examples of identified root metaphors and the subse- quent change in understanding that occurred are presented in support of the argument.