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UsingPersonasandthePowerofStorytoDriveProductDevelopment
Erin Liman | Innovation is Social | @liman
me
business
design people
tech
a-ha:storybrings
needs,motivationsand
solutionstolife
4
5
marketing story
customer pain story
product story
coherence+resonance=allspeakingsamelanguage
>
>
>
7
storiesguideproductdevelopment
• Promote understanding: each team member should
have a visceral understanding of the cus...
storiesaresticky
compellingstories
areaboutchange
Figureout
thecurrentstory
tella
newstory
Figureout
thecurrentstory
tella
newstory
so,howdowe
createthenewstory?
3STEPS

TOCREATINGTHENEWSTORY
COLLECTSTORIES

IDENTIFYPATTERNS&FLOWS
RE-FRAME,TELLANEWSTORY

1
2
3
COLLECTSTORIES
1
immerseyourself
bywalkingin
someone
else’sshoes
José Avillez (Chef)
Portuguese Men in
High Heels for
Women Rights
to discover someone’s explicit
and implicit needs 

so you can test your
understanding of these needs
with your prototypes...
Evoke stories.
HOW TO gain empathy?
basicstoryspinetension
time
once upon

a time…
and every day
until one day
and because of that
and because of that
until fi...
exercise:sentenceatatimestory
1 onceuponatime…
2 andeveryday…
3 untiloneday…
4 andbecauseofthat…
5 andbecauseofthat…
6 unt...
howtowediscover
what’smeaningful?
WISH
WANT
NEED
PAIN
FEAR
CONSCIOUSUNCONSCIOUS
depth = meaning
©	
  2016	
  Innova/on	
  is	
  Social,	
  LLC
tension
time
introduction
build rapport
“sunny day”
“rainy day”
resolution
reflection
wrap-up and 

thank
collectstoriesusi...
Challenges re:
landing big deals
Collaborating
across disciplines
Collaborating
across orgs to
fill gaps
Motivation / Rewar...
COLLECTSTORIES

IDENTIFYPATTERNS&FLOWS
1
2
COLLECTSTORIES
1
2
insights,motivations,workarounds
IDENTIFYPATTERNS&FLOWS
See text msg
about a big
sales
opportunity
Crisis of
confidence -
knows this
deal will
require
assembling
teams within
and ...
credit: Village9991
persona=compositeportraitofauserorstakeholder
29
personaexamples
30
lifelesspersona
31
Source: Kate Rutter, Strategic Sketcher at Intelleto
usefulpersona
32
presentedresearch,audible+visualpersonasformeta-synthesis
33
synthesis:

identify patterns in fears, pains and workarounds

create rough personas
see who else has overcome similar ...
I	
  am	
  ...	
  
I	
  am	
  trying	
  to	
  ...	
  
But,	
  ...	
  
Because	
  ...	
  
Which	
  makes	
  me	
  feel	
  ....
I	
  am	
  ...	
  
I	
  am	
  trying	
  to	
  ...	
  
But,	
  ...	
  
Because	
  ...	
  
Which	
  makes	
  me	
  feel	
  ....
36
analogus

inspiration
COLLECTSTORIES

IDENTIFYPATTERNS&FLOWS
RE-FRAME,TELLANEWSTORY

1
2
3
DEFINEAPOINTOFVIEW
We are all, in turn, buyers and sellers.

How might we orchestrate value
exchanges, then “remember” the...
39
highlightstrategicstory“beats”/tellstorymultipleways
wikipedia //hdfreefoto
collaborativestorytelling/bodystorming
41
illustratekeystorybeats
playwithordertoseewhathasthemostimpact
42
packageforvirality
howcanweembedstakeholderlanguage
sostoryresonateswithdifferentaudiences?
43
example
[articulatereactionto

whatheseesonhisphone]
adoptaprototypingmindset
Prototype the problem(s) / “as-is”
Prototype the context
Prototype the new story / “to be”
Protot...
1. Step into the perspective of the key persona (hero).
2. Walk through the storyline, one step at a time, from trigger to...
re-incorporatestakeholderlanguage
removemarketing-speakandcorporatejargon
47
Thank you!
Erin Liman
Innovation Accelerator, Narrative Designer
Innovation is Social, LLC

twitter: @liman
blog: innov...
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Using Personas and the Power of Story to Drive Product Development

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Talk from the the Product Management & Innovation Event on January 29th, 2016

Published in: Business
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Using Personas and the Power of Story to Drive Product Development

  1. 1. 1 UsingPersonasandthePowerofStorytoDriveProductDevelopment Erin Liman | Innovation is Social | @liman
  2. 2. me business design people tech
  3. 3. a-ha:storybrings needs,motivationsand solutionstolife
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. marketing story customer pain story product story coherence+resonance=allspeakingsamelanguage > > >
  7. 7. 7 storiesguideproductdevelopment • Promote understanding: each team member should have a visceral understanding of the customer problem • Guide micro-decisions routinely made while developing • Inform MVP: develop only what’s needed to deliver the critical function http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/  
  8. 8. storiesaresticky
  9. 9. compellingstories areaboutchange
  10. 10. Figureout thecurrentstory tella newstory
  11. 11. Figureout thecurrentstory tella newstory
  12. 12. so,howdowe createthenewstory?
  13. 13. 3STEPS
 TOCREATINGTHENEWSTORY
  14. 14. COLLECTSTORIES
 IDENTIFYPATTERNS&FLOWS RE-FRAME,TELLANEWSTORY
 1 2 3
  15. 15. COLLECTSTORIES
1
  16. 16. immerseyourself bywalkingin someone else’sshoes José Avillez (Chef) Portuguese Men in High Heels for Women Rights
  17. 17. to discover someone’s explicit and implicit needs 
 so you can test your understanding of these needs with your prototypes (interventions) WHY gain empathy?
  18. 18. Evoke stories. HOW TO gain empathy?
  19. 19. basicstoryspinetension time once upon
 a time… and every day until one day and because of that and because of that until finally and ever since 
 that day
  20. 20. exercise:sentenceatatimestory 1 onceuponatime… 2 andeveryday… 3 untiloneday… 4 andbecauseofthat… 5 andbecauseofthat… 6 untilfinally… 7 andeversincethatday…
  21. 21. howtowediscover what’smeaningful?
  22. 22. WISH WANT NEED PAIN FEAR CONSCIOUSUNCONSCIOUS depth = meaning ©  2016  Innova/on  is  Social,  LLC
  23. 23. tension time introduction build rapport “sunny day” “rainy day” resolution reflection wrap-up and thank collectstoriesusingthestoryspine
  24. 24. Challenges re: landing big deals Collaborating across disciplines Collaborating across orgs to fill gaps Motivation / Rewards End-to-end “service” especially the last mile Sharing expertise Ethnographic Research Themes to Investigate Getting help
  25. 25. COLLECTSTORIES
 IDENTIFYPATTERNS&FLOWS 1 2
  26. 26. COLLECTSTORIES
1 2 insights,motivations,workarounds IDENTIFYPATTERNS&FLOWS
  27. 27. See text msg about a big sales opportunity Crisis of confidence - knows this deal will require assembling teams within and across companies Doesn’t know what he doesn’t know (people, tools, processes for similar deals in the past) Swallows pride and calls sales superstar on drive to next account meeting Wake up,
 look at phone salesexecwhojoinedBigCosixmonthsago(“as-is”)story time Fears that the people he needs to engage won’t see enough benefit to help much
  28. 28. credit: Village9991 persona=compositeportraitofauserorstakeholder
  29. 29. 29 personaexamples
  30. 30. 30 lifelesspersona
  31. 31. 31 Source: Kate Rutter, Strategic Sketcher at Intelleto usefulpersona
  32. 32. 32 presentedresearch,audible+visualpersonasformeta-synthesis
  33. 33. 33 synthesis:
 identify patterns in fears, pains and workarounds create rough personas see who else has overcome similar challenges (analogous) zoom out: what are key executives focused on this year? 
 How will these findings help them advance their goals? experts analysts (trends) observations stakeholder stories quantitative data
  34. 34. I  am  ...   I  am  trying  to  ...   But,  ...   Because  ...   Which  makes  me  feel  ... “Who”  with  3+  characteris/cs Objec/ve  or  “job  to  be  done” Perceived  barrier Root  cause Emo/on Exercise: Problem Statement It  would  be  game  changing  if… Idea
  35. 35. I  am  ...   I  am  trying  to  ...   But,  ...   Because  ...   Which  makes  me  feel  ... “Who”  with  3+  characteris/cs Objec/ve  or  “job  to  be  done” Perceived  barrier Root  cause Emo/on Exercise: Problem Statement It  would  be  game  changing  if… Idea Sarah,  a  32  year-­‐old  sales  exec  with  new  role  in  a  B2B  company Recognize  and  shape  large  transforma/onal  deals I’m  s/ll  learning  how  things  work,  and  who  to  call  in Nothing  is  documented,  and  no  one  has  /me  to  help  me stressed  and  frustrated we  could  recognize  paYerns  and  fill    gaps,  then   remember  “plays”  without  re-­‐work
  36. 36. 36 analogus
 inspiration
  37. 37. COLLECTSTORIES
 IDENTIFYPATTERNS&FLOWS RE-FRAME,TELLANEWSTORY
 1 2 3
  38. 38. DEFINEAPOINTOFVIEW We are all, in turn, buyers and sellers.
 How might we orchestrate value exchanges, then “remember” these patterns and flows 
 as a byproduct of the work?
  39. 39. 39 highlightstrategicstory“beats”/tellstorymultipleways wikipedia //hdfreefoto
  40. 40. collaborativestorytelling/bodystorming
  41. 41. 41 illustratekeystorybeats playwithordertoseewhathasthemostimpact
  42. 42. 42 packageforvirality howcanweembedstakeholderlanguage sostoryresonateswithdifferentaudiences?
  43. 43. 43 example [articulatereactionto
 whatheseesonhisphone]
  44. 44. adoptaprototypingmindset Prototype the problem(s) / “as-is” Prototype the context Prototype the new story / “to be” Prototype the value proposition Prototype how the value will be delivered
  45. 45. 1. Step into the perspective of the key persona (hero). 2. Walk through the storyline, one step at a time, from trigger to resolution. 3. Brainstorm ways to get the hero into trouble. Show how the hero overcomes the challenge(s), and what happens as a result. 4. Add context (backstory, environment, etc.) to evoke empathy. Include details to help the listener visualize what they hear. Make the story sticky by helping listeners relate it to their own experience. 5. Step back and simplify. Then, simplify even more. 6. Tell the story. Revise. Repeat. director’stips
  46. 46. re-incorporatestakeholderlanguage removemarketing-speakandcorporatejargon
  47. 47. 47 Thank you! Erin Liman Innovation Accelerator, Narrative Designer Innovation is Social, LLC
 twitter: @liman blog: innovationissocial.com linkedin.com/erinliman

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