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Customer Research & Persona Development


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A guide to Lean UX (User Experience) customer research, persona development, and how to be sensitive to cognitive biases.

A guide to Lean UX (User Experience) customer research, persona development, and how to be sensitive to cognitive biases.

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  • 1. Customer Research &Persona Development Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 2. “Life is too short to design & build something that no one wants” - Ash Maurya LEAN USER EXPERIENCEWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 3. Mantra: You are not the user.Only through research can we uncover people’s pain, needs, and goals, in context.Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 4. Why Customer Research? “Insights about your customers or users were never discovered sitting at your fucking couch”. - meWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 5. Malkovich BiasThe tendency to believe that everyone uses technology the same way you do.Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 6. Personas, WTF?• Personas are an archetype of your actual, validated customers based on research• Personas are not a sheet of paper• (Just) making personas up is useless• BUT – creating persona hypotheses gets the ball moving… to do research Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 7. “Personas are to Persona Descriptions as Vacations are to Photo Albums”Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 8. My bullshit customer insights graph People 0 InsightsWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 9. My bullshit customer insights graph 12 People The most striking truth of this curve is that zero users give zero insights 0 Insights Lot sWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 10. “Your responsibility is to step out of your own perspective, to really exercise empathy and completely immerse yourselves in the point of view, and the psychological state, of the person your hoping to design a solution for” - meWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 11. Lean Principles • Context First • Hypotheses, Not Requirements • Opinions = Guesses • Visualize your work • Validate customer needs • Reduce cycle times • Last responsible momentWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 12. Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 13. HOW TO DO ITWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 14. Before Interviews • Identify who you interviewing • Articulate customer hypotheses • Craft a topic map for your sessions • Write down your promptsWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 15. 9 Keys to Customer Research 1. One at a time 2. Always pair interview (if you can) 3. Introduce yourself 4. Record the conversation 5. Ask general, open ended questions to get people to open up 6. Ask questions around the problem space “Do you often encounter a problem like X? 7. Then ask: “Tell me about it…” 8. Listen more than talk 9. Separate behavior from narrativeWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 16. Guidelines • It’s about empathizing. Listen, even when people go off topic • Context is King – document it, and make sure the context of research maps to that of problem space • Start from the assumption that everything you know is wrongWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 17. You need to gather: • Factual information • Behavior • Pain points • Goals You can document this on the persona validation board As well as… Photos, video, audio, journals…document everythingWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 18. During the interview DO Take notes Smile Ask open-ended Don’t questions Talk about your product Get their story Ask about future behavior Shut up and listen Sell Ask leading questions Talk muchWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 19. Ways to start • Tell me about … • How so … • What are your thoughts on … • Could you elaborate on … • Give some examples of … • What are your thoughts on … • Tell me the last time you …Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 20. Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 21. Caveat Qualitative research cannot be used to unequivocally prove or disprove a hypothesis about the customer or solution.Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 22. Analysis “We tend to project our own rationalizations and beliefs onto the actions and beliefs of others” - Don Norman So… be weary of these…Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 23. 5 Common Biases in Customer Research • Confirmation Bias • Framing Effect • Observer-expectancy Effect • Recency Bias • False ConsensusWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 24. Confirmation Bias Your tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms your preconceptions or hypotheses.Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 25. Framing Effect When you and your team draw different conclusions from the same data based on your own preconceptions.Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 26. Observer-expectancy When you expect a given result from your research which makes you unconsciously manipulate your experiments to give you that resultWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 27. Recency Bias This results from disproportionate salience attributed to recent observations (your very last interview) – or the tendency to weigh more recent information over earlier observationsWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 28. Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 29. False Consensus The tendency for you to overestimate the degree to which others agree with you.Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 30. Analysis • Single customer storyboarding, and then… • Multiple customer analysis – Write all insights on post-its – Affinity map into facts, behaviors, needs, goals – Identify types of potential customers – Name them – Fill out the persona validation boardWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 31. What next? The point of the research is to seek insight into user behavior, goals, and needs that might be supported by the design of a product or service. so…Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 32. Demand Creation • How will your customer segments hear about your product? • How does market type impact your strategy? • How much will it cost to acquire customers using these strategies • What does the lifetime customer value need to be to justify these strategies?Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 33. Enough Theory! “Insights about your customers or users were never discovered sitting at your fucking desk”. - meWill Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 34. Will Evans | @SemanticWill
  • 35. Thanks!Will Evans | @SemanticWill