NCompass Live: Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Who's Out There? User Personas and Libraries

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In this month's episode, Michael Sauers will talk with Jennifer Koerber, Web Services Librarian at Boston Public Library, about User Personas and Libraries.
Any marketer or web designer will tell you that creating user personas is a great way to target your services, but just how do you do that? What are the steps involved, and how can we narrow the wide variety of people we serve down to a few "types"? By brainstorming, collecting data and talking to your users, you can make tools to help you develop new programs, focus a marketing campaign, or redesign your website. In this brief overview, Koerber will introduce the basics of persona-making and give you resources to go through the process yourself.
NCompass Live - April 20, 2011.

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  • Personas are a way to give faces and voices to your users as you’re trying to design services for them. They keep you focused outside instead of inside your own head.
  • Efficiency – “when a team reviews personas early in the process, everyone is forced to think about audience & features UP FRONT – less likely to disrupt process later Personas for strategy – personas for marketing – personas for program planning – personas for design
  • DON ’T group by department or service area! Teens \\= persona, Finance \\= persona Emotional state, values, possible technology ownership
  • Separate out the tasks & goals common to all your potential personas – those are the base functionality of your site or building
  • In interviews – get them to talk about their lives outside the library – how can you serve *those* needs?
  • NCompass Live: Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Who's Out There? User Personas and Libraries

    1. 1. Who's Out There? Personas in 15 Minutes Jennifer Koerber Web Services Librarian Boston Public Library
    2. 2. What are Personas? <ul><li>A “persona is an archetype serving as a surrogate for an entire group of real people.” </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Mulder, The User is Always Right </li></ul>
    3. 3. Faces and Voices
    4. 4. Faces and Voices
    5. 5. Personas can… <ul><li>bring focus to a design process </li></ul><ul><li>remind you that your users are real people </li></ul><ul><li>encourage consensus among planners </li></ul><ul><li>lead to efficient decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>lead to better decisions </li></ul>
    6. 6. What ’s in a persona? <ul><li>Picture </li></ul><ul><li>Name, age, neighborhood, family members, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Defining goals, behaviors & attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Experience & education levels </li></ul><ul><li>Story (scenario) </li></ul><ul><li>Quote </li></ul><ul><li>Anything else that helps make them real </li></ul>
    7. 7. What’s in a persona?
    8. 8. What’s in a persona? <ul><li>Self-Sufficient Power User “It would be wrong to claim that these users just want a &quot;book ATM,&quot; because the brief interaction with library staff is often deeply appreciated, but these folks want to be in and out of the building in 5 minutes or less. He'll place a hold online, wait for the email notification that it's in, then run in on a lunch break or the commute home to pick up the latest bestseller or that book on knitting socks from the toes up. She doesn't usually ask for help, but when she needs it, it had better be easy to find and use. A streamlined, minimalist, efficient experience is best - taking full advantage of in-house catalog computers, self-pickup of holds, self-checkout and excellent signage.” </li></ul>
    9. 9. What’s in a persona?
    10. 10. Who are your users?
    11. 11. Who are your users?
    12. 12. <ul><li>You ≠ Users </li></ul>
    13. 13. Developing Personas <ul><li>Brainstorm </li></ul><ul><li>Collect data – qualitative & quantitative </li></ul><ul><li>Identify unique behaviors & goals </li></ul><ul><li>Segment your users into groups based on these </li></ul><ul><li>Write a persona description for each major group </li></ul><ul><li>Test and refine </li></ul>
    14. 14. Developing Personas <ul><li>Brainstorm with staff </li></ul><ul><li>Talk with current users </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>User interviews – informal, contextual & critical incident </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys – online, offline, formal, informal </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usability testing </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Observe, listen, take notes </li></ul><ul><li>Pull language & quotes from comments, emails, feedback forms, reference calls </li></ul><ul><li>Get quantitative data from web analytics, demographic studies, census reports, reference stats, etc. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Getting Data Qualitative (insights) Quantitative (validation) Goals & attitudes (what people say) Behaviors (what people do) from The User is Always Right by Mulder
    16. 16. Exercise 1: Who ’s This?
    17. 17. Meet Chuck
    18. 18. Chuck & Emperor Norton ’s Stationary Marching Band
    19. 19. Personas for physical spaces
    20. 20. Personas for physical spaces
    21. 21. Personas for digital spaces http://www.flickr.com/photos/carpevia/3908268797/
    22. 22. Personas for programs http://www.flickr.com/photos/smcl/1065624977/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleeker/3737583649/
    23. 23. Personas for marketing http://www.flickr.com/photos/sillygwailo/3202378280/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/libraryman/109470648/
    24. 24. Exercise #2: Brainstorming <ul><li>Take 1 minute </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm possible personas or groups of users </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on real users – people you ’ve interacted with </li></ul>
    25. 25. Exercise #3: Make them real <ul><li>Take 2 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Choose one persona </li></ul><ul><li>Give them a name, a face, a story </li></ul><ul><li>What would they use your library/website for? </li></ul><ul><li>How can you serve them? </li></ul>
    26. 26. What ’s in a persona? <ul><li>Picture </li></ul><ul><li>Name, age, neighborhood, family members, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Defining goals, behaviors & attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Story (scenario) </li></ul><ul><li>Quote </li></ul><ul><li>Anything else that helps make them real </li></ul>
    27. 27. Useful Resources David Lee King Steve Madder Ginny Redish
    28. 28. Thank you! <ul><li>Jennifer Koerber </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>linkedin.com/jkoerber </li></ul><ul><li>facebook.com/jennifer.koerber </li></ul><ul><li>twitter.com/jenniferkoerber </li></ul><ul><li>Web Services Librarian, BPL </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Trainer and Presenter </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.betterthancoffee.info </li></ul>

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