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The Future of Personas


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Take a look at our talk on the Future of Personas from the Future of Web Design Conference 2012

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The Future of Personas

  1. 1. julia sloan@motivate_design
  2. 2. elements of a persona:who they arewhat they care aboutwhat they dophoto
  3. 3. Q: why do we use personas?A: to keep users at the center of designdevelopment; to facilitate conversation “They allow us to change the topic of conversation from how best to design for ourselves to how best to meet our customers needs. They create empathy -- we understand and care for our customers better. They allow us to understand that not all customers are created equal, and that even one customer has different needs in different contexts.” Director of UX Macy’s
  4. 4. keep asking WHY?
  5. 5. what does a persona provide? strategy structure story
  6. 6. “Our species has probablybeen telling stories throughoutour history. We’re still going tobe telling stories about ourusers to stakeholders threeyears from now, and we’re stillgoing to need to shareinformation across disciplinesin the organization.”-Aviva Rosenstein, Salesforce
  7. 7. what about moods?
  8. 8. SEE (significant emotional events)
  9. 9. mood vs. emotion
  10. 10. getty images - moodstream
  11. 11. moods last days/weeks/years “
  12. 12. incorporated into:customer journey mapsscenariosday-in the-life “The idea that changing a users environment will change their behavior is at the heart of a lot of interaction design. So the context of use matters a lot. Probably more than most of the stuff you see on a persona (Shelly is 32 and drives a Ford).” -Giles Colborne Author of Simple and Usable Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design
  13. 13. 1. we don’t use them2. users change3. too much detail4. live & die in the research dept.5. rulebook
  15. 15. 1. use technology to keep it easywebsitesanalyticsbig databehavioral databasesocial networks
  16. 16. “At Salesforce my team has built aweb application for maintaining anddelivering robust personas acrossthe entire organization. …as welearn more about our users we caneasily update the characteristics ofexisting personas or add new onesas needed, and those changes willinstantly appear on the webapplication our internal teams useto access the personas.”-Aviva Rosenstein, Salesforce
  17. 17. (emotional database)
  18. 18. 2. keep it cheapwwsbd?(what would small businesses do?)
  19. 19. 3. keep it real“Personas are not a document.Persona descriptions can be adocument (or a movie or any otherpractical rendering). But, those are justrenderings of what happened duringthe persona creation process.Here’s the way to think of it: Personasare to Persona Descriptions asVacations are to Souvenir PictureAlbums.” Jared Spool 2008
  20. 20. 4. keep it aliveadvocatetalk to everyoneupdates on how they are used “Use them in every conversation.” Sean McLeary Director of UX at DocuSign Inc.
  21. 21. 5. skip the formalitiesrelevantstraightforwardpart of a discussionWhats the minimum viable persona?
  22. 22. to recap…1. personas give you:structurestorystrategy2. but unacknowledged, excessive, and stale personas cantrip you up3. so…use technologykeep it cheapkeep it realbroadcastand skip the formalities
  23. 23. Thank you! Questions?@motivate_designjulia@motivatedesign.comand a big thanks to:mona patelgiles colbornescott kincadeaviva rosensteinsean mcleary& the noun project