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From Personas to Production: The Role of Personas, Design Briefs, Stories, Storyboards, and Wireframes in the Ideation/Design/Build Process

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From Personas to Production:
The Role of Personas, Design Briefs,
Stories, Storyboards, and Wireframes in
the Ideation/Design/Build Process

-Presented at ProductCampAustin09, 15 August 2009.

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • great work Paul; what tools have you seen recently that help expedite this process?
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From Personas to Production: The Role of Personas, Design Briefs, Stories, Storyboards, and Wireframes in the Ideation/Design/Build Process

  1. 1. The Role of Personas, Design Briefs, Stories, Storyboards and Wireframes in the Ideation/Design/Build Process Paul Sherman Sherman Group User Experience
  2. 2.  It’s  easy  to  become  trapped  into  a   product-­‐  or  market-­‐  centered   perspective…  and  lose  site  of  what  the   customer  needs.    The  UX  field  gives  you  tools  to  put  and   keep  focus  on  the  customer,  release   after  release.   2  
  3. 3. It’s  easy,  actually…   Go  visit  the  customers   Profile  them   Build  personas  from  the  profiles     Tell  the  customers’  stories  (“agile”-­‐ly)   Illustrate  the  stories   3  
  4. 4. And  most  importantly…   Socialize  and  share  your  customer  insights!   I’ll  tell  you  how  at  the  end.     4  
  5. 5. 5  
  6. 6.  Too  product-­‐focused:    Thinking  about  the  product  in   terms  of  the  features  it  supports.   6  
  7. 7.  Leads  to  feature   matrix  thinking…    And  a  “presence-­‐ absence”  mindset…    Which  de-­‐ emphasizes   designing  to  satisfy   users’  goals  and   workflow.   7  
  8. 8.  Too  market-­‐focused:    Thinking  about  customers  at  the   market  level,  not  in  terms  of   individuals,  their  goals,  and  their   workflow.   8  
  9. 9.  Knowing  your  segment  and  competitors   doesn’t  tell  you  how  to  design  the  product!   9  
  10. 10.   Know  the  product       Know  the  market     Know  the  people  who   use  the  product!   10  
  11. 11. That  is…  know  your  customers’…     Capabilities  and  constraints     Goals     Workflow     Context  of  use   Note:  you  can’t  get  this  from  a  survey  or  a  focus  group  session.   11  
  12. 12. 12  
  13. 13.  Go  visit  the  customers  where  they  use  your   product  or  service…  not  in  a  focus  group   facility!   13  
  14. 14. Why?  Two  great  reasons:     1.  Self-­‐report  is  unreliable.  (People  don’t   mean  to  lie,  they  just  do.)   2.  Remove  people  from  their  context,  and   you  can’t  see  –  and  they  can’t  remember  -­‐   the  details  of  their  tasks.   14  
  15. 15. 15  
  16. 16. “Can’t  you  just  figure  that  stuff  out?”   Not  so  much…   Good  product  design  flows  from   understanding  the  users…and   understanding  them  means  observing   them.   16  
  17. 17.  “We  don’t  have  time  to  go  into  the  field!”   I  call  BS  on  that…    It’s  not  hard  or  time-­‐consuming  if  done   right…plus  it  prevents  churn.   17  
  18. 18.  “It’s  too  expensive!”   You  can  do  quality  user  research  for  a  few   thousand  dollars.   If  you  can’t  afford  that,  you  have  other   problems.   18  
  19. 19. Generating  insights  from  field  observation  is   not  hard  or  time-­‐consuming.   But  sharing  and  socializing  it  is  critical.  We’ll   cover  this  before  the  end  of  the  session.     19  
  20. 20. Have  I  convinced  you  that  you  need  qualitative,   detailed,  individual-­‐level  user  research?     If  not,  let  me  tell  you  a  story…   20  
  21. 21. At  my  former  company  we  nearly  missed   a  big  gap  in  the  product  experience…   …and  we  only  found  the  problem  through   field  observations.   21  
  22. 22. What  did  we  miss?   The  install  experience  was  too  hard.   We  thought  it  was  decent.  but  when  we  took   the  beta  to  new  customers  and  watched   what  happened…  we  wanted  to  cry.   22  
  23. 23. …unless  we  watched  them!   23  
  24. 24. 24  
  25. 25. 1.  Converting  observation  insights  into   useful  product  management  and  design   guidance.   2.  Using  the  content  to  socialize  insights,   attain  alignment,  and  maintain  focus  on   the  customer.   25  
  26. 26.  How  many  of  you  write  business   requirements  documents?   26  
  27. 27.  Does  it  look  something  like  this?     27  
  28. 28. 28  
  29. 29. Where’s  the  user  in  that?   Yeah,  there’s  actors…but  does  UML  really   tell  you  anything  about  your  users?   29  
  30. 30. A  “different”  kind  of  BRD…   [show  sample]   30  
  31. 31. A  BRD  with  business  requirements  AND…     A  design  brief     Personas  built  from  user  observations     User  stories  (in  agile  format)     Storyboards  with  wireframes   31  
  32. 32. You  tell  me.   32  
  33. 33.  Don’t  make  it  too  complex!    Include  stuff  like  goals,  tasks  and  context.      But  don’t  go  crazy…  it’s  not  rocket  science!   33  
  34. 34. 34  
  35. 35. 35  
  36. 36.  Again,  don’t  go  crazy.  Let  me  show  you   wireframes  and  storyboard  for  part  of  an  app   I’m  working  on  this  week.      Context:  I  am  designing  a  way  for  people  to   create  an  update,  like  on  Twitter  or  Facebook.   36  
  37. 37. 37  
  38. 38. 38  
  39. 39. 39  
  40. 40. 40  
  41. 41. 41  
  42. 42. 42  
  43. 43. Your  immediate  goal  is  to  get  the  product   built  right.     But  what  you  really  want  to  do  is  get  your   organization  aligned  on  the  customer   experience.   How?   43  
  44. 44. Placemats,  pictures,  posters,  wall  space…   44  
  45. 45. What’s  my  point?   When  you  go  to  the  field,  profile  users,  and   build  personas,  you’re  gaining  incredible   insight  into  your  customer  base.     Bring  your  developers  and  management  along   on  this  journey!   45  
  46. 46. If  you  can’t  physically  bring  them  to  the  field,   share  what  you’ve  gleaned  from  the  field   back  at  the  office:     Hang  it  on  your  walls  &  boards   Make  “persona  placemats”  and  leave  them  in   the  lunchroom   Put  persona  or  profile  “posters”  in  every   meeting  room   46  
  47. 47. This  is  how  you  align  your  organization  on  the   user  experience  –  by  sharing  the  field  insights.   47  
  48. 48.   Visit  your  customers  in  their  environment!     Profile  them,  make  personas  and  tell  their   stories.     Storyboard  their  stories  with  wireframes.     Get  your  organization  to  really  understand   the  customer….not  just  the  market  or  the   product!   48  
  49. 49.  What  are  your  experiences  in  this  area?   49  
  50. 50.  Paul  Sherman    Sherman  Group  User  Experience    www.shermanux.com    paul@shermanux.com    Twitter:  @pjsherman   50  

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