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Personas Demystified 1.0


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This presentation aims to teach others how to use the user centered design methodology known as personas.

Personas are archetypes (models) that represent groups of real users who have similar behaviors, attitudes, and goals. A persona describes an archetypical user of software as it relates to the area of focus or domain you are designing for as a lens to highlight the relevant attitudes and the specific context associated with the area of work you are doing.

Published in: Design, Technology, Education

Personas Demystified 1.0

  1. 1. Understanding 
 Your Users Research: Developing Personas
  2. 2. Before We Begin
 We are going to talk about a design led project 
 that will aid in business and engineering efforts.
  3. 3. Premise We all have biases, assumptions, and perspectives.
 Naturally, we all tend to build products that fulfill our own preferences, desires, and ways of thinking. We are not our users. 
 We need to design for them and not for ourselves. There are methods to ensure we create products tailor made for the specific needs and goals of our users.
  4. 4. Here in Silicon Valley, we forget how skewed our population is, and we should frequently remind ourselves how abnormal we really are. The average person who uses a software based product around here isn't really very average. – Alan Cooper
  5. 5. Q A Question
 How can we build better software? Answer
 By better understanding our users.
 But who are our users really?
  6. 6. Your Users Goals Attitudes Motivations Mental Models Relationships Technology Pain Points Environment Processes
  7. 7. Problem
 We have lots of users! 
 How can we possibly design for every one of them?
  8. 8. If you design for everyone, you make no individual happy. You can design for specific types of users.
  9. 9. We determine what types of users we serve with research. We analyze that research to find segments of user types. Each type of user is represented by a model called a persona.
  10. 10. Persona noun pərˈsōnə
 Personas are archetypes (models) 
 that represent groups of real users 
 who have similar attributes. A persona encapsulates and explains the most critical data about users in a way that team members can understand, remember, and relate to.
  11. 11. Persona
 Each persona serves as a single surrogate for many actual users, which produces a clear target to aim for.
  12. 12. By designing for these personas, you can satisfy the needs of the thousands or millions of potential users who have similar characteristics and goals.
  15. 15. Ethnography noun eTHˈnägrəfē
 Ethnography informs design by revealing a deep understanding of people and how they make sense of their world. Ethnography is a research method based on observing people in their natural environment rather than in a formal research setting. When ethnography is applied to design, it helps designers create more compelling solutions.
  16. 16. Uses defining and designing the product communicating with stakeholders about your audience building consensus and rallying a team around a goal marketing the product developing documentation prioritizing bug fixes
  17. 17. Uses Personas can be used for almost anything. For the entire life cycle of product creation." If you want to use user-centric methodology.
  18. 18. What Personas Are Not Market Segments Stereotypes Average Users Roles
  19. 19. What Personas Are Not Market Segments
  20. 20. What Personas Are Not Roles
  21. 21. What Personas Are Not Roles Example
 Role: Surgeon | Behavior Types: Two" 1. focused on ensuring the longevity of the implant
 2. focused on how quickly the surgery takes A successful design must accommodate these two distinct philosophies and approaches.
  22. 22. A Lesson
 Howard Moskowitz & Spaghetti Sauce
  23. 23.
  24. 24. There is no one right spaghetti sauce for everyone. There is no one right feature or workflow for everyone.
  25. 25. Personas help us implement 
 the right features to the right people in the right way.
  26. 26. Personas are important and useful.
 They help us get into our user’s heads 
 and use their perspective to inform our decisions.
  27. 27. How to create and use personas
 Whats next
  28. 28. The Plan Phase 1 Setup form a team determine project
 scope, milestones, deliverables state research goals Leverage Existing Info secondary domain research external resources (people) internal resources (people) validate and refine develop a hypothesis Prototyping create provisional personas
  29. 29. The Plan Phase 2 Primary Research gather participants contextual inquiry (interviews) determine additional methods (if needed) Synthesis identify behavioral variables map and cluster 
 participants into groups identify patterns define goals clarify distinctions and add detail
  30. 30. The Plan Phase 3 Presentation and Use design individual personas create a persona set to compare introduce
 personas continually socialize, utilize, and reference personas
  31. 31. The Plan All Phases Setup Leverage Existing Info Prototyping Primary Research Synthesis Presentation and Use
  32. 32. Timing
 How long will this process take? Depends on many variables. This is difficult to determine and requires more research to figure this aspect out.
  33. 33. Setup 1. Develop a team
 Who will work together to create personas?
 2. Determine Project Scope, milestones and deliverables 
 3. State Research Goals
 What do you want to find out? This will help you determine what methods to find answers to your questions. Also beneficial is to determine how you will use the personas. Ensure that personas don't just become an artifact, because the value is so not in the artifact itself.
  34. 34. Leverage Existing Info 1. Domain Knowledge
 Primary research quality goes up when you have already researched the subject matter and domain before hand. This knowledge will help you ask insightful questions later on.
 2. Existing External sources
 Talk to Stakeholders and Subject Matter Experts - Leverage the knowledge of others who know more then you do. What are the possible external sources of data relevant to your domain, company, or product? Are there institutions or other companies that might have conducted research related to your domain?
 3. Existing Internal Sources
 Who are the subject-matter experts in your company? Who has the most contact with existing customers? Your support organization, sales force, and account representatives can be great sources of information about your users.
  35. 35. Prototyping It’s recommend that you create provisional personas whether or not you plan to collect first-hand data about your target users." ! • Help you target your field research to validate (or contradict) current impressions of who users are.
 • Provide some practice with persona conception and gestation methods before you need to create your “real” personas. 
 • Provisional personas are easy to create and help people understand why personas are valuable
 • Provisional personas can be the eye-opening catalyst that gets your team interested in some real user research. When your assumptions are exposed, so are gaps in your knowledge of your users. Ad hoc personas can lead your organization toward more rigorous user-centered design (UCD) techniques.
  36. 36. Primary Research 1. Identify likely roles
 From stakeholder and subject matter expert discussions, you should be able to develop an educated guess of the roles people who will use the product.
 2. Determine the base number of interviewees per role
 If the product or service is in a highly specialized industry with narrowly defined roles, assume you need a minimum of about four interviewees per role; this is usually the minimum number to see a behavior pattern.! ! 4. Multiply sample size for important factors
 Next, you may need to increase the sample size based on other factors that you expect to cause BEHAVIORAL DIFFERENCES.
 5. Trim the sample and incorporate other factors
 Time and cost may become prohibitive when numbers get large. For most projects, the optimal sample size turns out to be the base number of people per role (usually 4 or 8) multiplied by your top one or two factors.
 6. Adjust for no shows and poor interviews
  37. 37. Primary Research
  38. 38. Primary Research
  39. 39. Synthesis 1. Divide interviewees by role, if appropriate
 When the division between roles is very clear, its best to treat research participants in each role as a separate group for the purpose of identifying patterns. This is because large differences tend to obscure smaller differences. Make sure to compare apples to apples, and not apples to oranges.
 2. Identify behavioral and demographic variables
 For each role, identify which aspects of BEHAVIOR and ATTITUDE seem to differ across interviewees. Then add DEMOGRAPHIC information, as well as ENVIRONMENTAL factors.
 3. Map interviewees to variables
 Place each interviewee relative to the others in each spectrum (and in the appropriate multiple choice categories, if applicable).
 4. Identify Patterns
 Start by trying to find two or more people who frequently appear together across multiple variables. After this, try explaining and/or rationalizing why these variables are related – this will help strengthen the patterns you find.
  40. 40. Synthesis 5. Define Goals
 Goals are an integral part of personas. The level of specificity of goals is known as END GOALS: aims the persona could accomplish, at least in part, by using the product or service. Its typical to have 1-3 goals per persona.
 6. Clarify distinctions and add detail
 Patterns and goals are just the beginning; to become a real persona, you still need to add details about BEHAVIOR, ATTITUDES, ENVIRONMENT, and others to make the personas effective tools for design and communication.
 Every user persona should incorporate a ‘day in the life’ description of current behaviors relevant to the problems you are trying to solve. 
 Don’t insert a bunch of fictitious details or needless fluff.
 7. Fill in other persona types as needed
 Using the methods described previously.

  41. 41. Presentation and Use 1. Develop the narrative and other communication
 An effective description includes:! • Name! • Photo! • Narrative! - behaviors! - frustrations! - environment! - skills and capabilities! - feelings and attitudes! - relationships! - demographics! - goals
 2. Help others understand the personas as a set
 In addition to helping everyone understand the personas as individuals you should develop ways to communicate about them as a set that represents a range of behaviors and needs.!
  42. 42. Lets go make some personas! Thank You
  43. 43. Works Cited some of the presentation was copied directly from the sources below but was also remixed and altered by Shlomo ‘Mo’ Goltz ( ) About Face 3 - Alan Cooper, Robert Reiman, and David Cronin! An Enthographic Primer - AIGA! Designing For the Digital Age - Kim Goodwin! Interviewing Users - Steve Portigal! The User is Always Right - Steve Mulder and Ziv Yaar! The Inmates are Running the Asylum - Alan Cooper! Images are not given proper attribution but were found on google, flickr, and the sources above.
  44. 44. Additional Sources!!!–-part-1/!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  45. 45. Additional Sources!!!!!!!!!!