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Personas 
our imaginary friends
BUZZ Lean WORDS UX Agile 
Start up 
Pivot Innovative
A brief history of personas 
Angus Jenkinson 
1993 
“CustomerPrints 
Alan Cooper 
1995-99 
“Personas”
“Personas represent behavior 
patterns, not job descriptions.” 
–Kim Goodwin, “Perfecting your Personas” 2008
My reasons to avoid personas 
No collaboration 
They aren’t created from real data 
Confused with customer 
Not used 
Not ...
Here’s what we did
Product core team 
Lead developer Designer 
Product manager
Persona 1 
6, 8, 5 
Persona 2 
! 
11, 3
Persona 1 
6, 8, 5 
Persona 2 
! 
11, 3
Basic timeline 
Week 1 Week 2 
Plan 
Interview - 6 days 
Process data 
Document
Brendan 
2.5% 
13.5% 
34% 34% 
16% 
Gus 
Innovators Early adopters Early majority Late majority Laggards
One more thing. 
Changing conversations
Comics and stories
Story mapping
Story mapping
Design studios
Critiques
“I was able to leave the 
store and attend my 
daughter’s Tae Kwan Do 
for the first time because 
now I have help - thank...
Lesson learned 
Bringing imaginary friends to life
Product core team
Made from real data
Put personas to work
Don’t stop observing customers
Essential Reading
! 
Designing for the Digital Age: 
How to Create Human- 
Centered Products and 
Services 
! 
by Kim Goodwin
User Story Mapping! 
Discover the Whole 
Story, Build the Right 
Product 
! 
By Jeff Patton
The User Is Always Right: 
A Practical Guide to 
Creating and Using 
Personas for the Web 
by Steve Mulder, Ziv Yaar
@archiemiller 
archie.miller@snagajob.com
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
Personas: Our Imaginary Friends
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Personas: Our Imaginary Friends

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Presented at Innovate VA 2014 in Glen Allen VA.

This presentation is for all experience levels of engineers, project managers, product leads, designers, UX researchers and anyone who makes products (software, apps, websites, hardware) that others use.

In this presentation you’ll get candy thrown at you and also learn:

The best reasons for creating personas together

How to, as a team, quickly create accurate personas that fit into a sprint

And most importantly, how to use personas in collaborative design

Published in: Design
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Personas: Our Imaginary Friends

  1. 1. Personas our imaginary friends
  2. 2. BUZZ Lean WORDS UX Agile Start up Pivot Innovative
  3. 3. A brief history of personas Angus Jenkinson 1993 “CustomerPrints Alan Cooper 1995-99 “Personas”
  4. 4. “Personas represent behavior patterns, not job descriptions.” –Kim Goodwin, “Perfecting your Personas” 2008
  5. 5. My reasons to avoid personas No collaboration They aren’t created from real data Confused with customer Not used Not validated
  6. 6. Here’s what we did
  7. 7. Product core team Lead developer Designer Product manager
  8. 8. Persona 1 6, 8, 5 Persona 2 ! 11, 3
  9. 9. Persona 1 6, 8, 5 Persona 2 ! 11, 3
  10. 10. Basic timeline Week 1 Week 2 Plan Interview - 6 days Process data Document
  11. 11. Brendan 2.5% 13.5% 34% 34% 16% Gus Innovators Early adopters Early majority Late majority Laggards
  12. 12. One more thing. Changing conversations
  13. 13. Comics and stories
  14. 14. Story mapping
  15. 15. Story mapping
  16. 16. Design studios
  17. 17. Critiques
  18. 18. “I was able to leave the store and attend my daughter’s Tae Kwan Do for the first time because now I have help - thanks to Snagajob.“
  19. 19. Lesson learned Bringing imaginary friends to life
  20. 20. Product core team
  21. 21. Made from real data
  22. 22. Put personas to work
  23. 23. Don’t stop observing customers
  24. 24. Essential Reading
  25. 25. ! Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human- Centered Products and Services ! by Kim Goodwin
  26. 26. User Story Mapping! Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product ! By Jeff Patton
  27. 27. The User Is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web by Steve Mulder, Ziv Yaar
  28. 28. @archiemiller archie.miller@snagajob.com

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