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Personas – valuable tool or a waste of time?


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Sophie addressed the love hate relationship that most UX’ers have with Personas (for good reasons) and took us through the common pitfalls that cause them to fail. She gave advice, tips and industry examples, that could help turn a hate relationship with personas into a love-affair.

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Personas – valuable tool or a waste of time?

  1. 1. Personas – Valuable tool or waste of time By Sophie Bo Schmidt, Sociologist and UX Researcher eXperience Design Brisbane - 21st February 2018
  2. 2. So…. What are they? Personas are fictional, yet realistic, descriptions of the target users of your product or service.
  3. 3. Fail #1: You talk about different things
  4. 4. Fail #2: You think personas can solve all your problems
  5. 5. What are the attitudes, goals, values that guide our users? What is their problem space? Personas are great for some things…
  6. 6. What makes people buy a new product? Forces diagram: Model of behavior change
  7. 7. What is the end to end user experience of a service? Customer Journey Map: End-to-end experience
  8. 8. What content and features are users seeking? User requirements/stories
  9. 9. Fail #3: You don’t do research
  10. 10. Photo/illustration Sliders e.g. be personality/thinking style/behavior Description What characterizes her and her main problem space? Name/type Influencers Who/what influences her decision making? Brand perception How does your persona see your brand? Goals What is your persona trying to achieve on a functional, social and personal level? “Quote, that highlights the essence of the persona” Sources Where does she get her information from? Frustrations (push) What are the painpoints your persona experience with current situation? Gains (pull) What is attracting her to a new solution? Inertia What are the habits, that makes the persona resistant to change? Routines/behaviours Highlight relevant routines – e.g. a specific consultation Environment What is the context of the environment in which they work or operate? Tech use and attitude What is her technology or devices do they use? Role Title, responsibilities, level of authority, relationships Familiarity Experience and familiarity with the system Anxiety Her worries about new solution/changing behaviour?
  11. 11. Fail #4: You do the wrong kind of research
  12. 12. Fail #5: You struggle turning your data into meaningful personas
  13. 13. Fail #6: You don’t involve other people in the process
  14. 14. Creating personas as a team Sense making workshop
  15. 15. Fail #7: You take them too literally
  16. 16. Fail #8: You don’t know how to use them
  17. 17. Fail #9: You don’t test
  18. 18. So… Are personas a valuable tool or waste of time?
  19. 19. • Form a shared idea of what personas are and how you will use them • Use additional artefacts if needed • Leave the desk and talk to users • Be the scientist and the storyteller • Get people in the organisation involved • Use them in hands on sessions • Test your solutions Then they will be a valuable tool!
  20. 20. For more information: Sophie Schmidt Level 2, North Tower 10 Browning St, West End QLD 4101 PO Box 3141, South Brisbane 4101 Phone: 07 3129 7070