LeanUX NYC 2014: "Enhancing Proto-Personas With Characterization" (Workshop)

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"Creating a proto-persona allows us to capture
our assumptions about an end-user prior to
discovering and validating her true nature
with research; however, all projects are not
created equal, and the amount and quality of
information provided up-front about users can
vary.
In this workshop, participants will learn fun,
inspirational character-building techniques
and exercises used by humorists to create
more meaningful proto-personas.
Participants will also learn how using these
techniques and exercises help to build and
internalize understanding of the end-user(s)
throughout the LeanUX process."

Source: http://leanuxnyc.co/nyc/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/LeanUX_2014_Workshops_F1.pdf from http://leanuxnyc.co/nyc/

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LeanUX NYC 2014: "Enhancing Proto-Personas With Characterization" (Workshop)

  1. 1. 1 LeanUX NYC 2014 Enhancing Proto-Personas With Characterization April 12, 2014
  2. 2. 2 Who are we? Chelsey Delaney Senior UX Designer, Catalyst Group @chelseD catalystnyc.com Introduction Taren Sterry President, Taren Sterry Communication Coaching tarensterry.com
  3. 3. 3 Who are you? Introduction
  4. 4. 4 Fill out a profile sheet (10 minutes) Exercise
  5. 5. 5 About this workshop Introduction We’ll be learning ways to make personas -- proto- personas, in particular -- more valuable and useful in the LeanUX process by framing them as humorous characters. Those ways include: - Improv - Sketching - Brainstorming - Design thinking - Discussion
  6. 6. 6 Why improv? Characters Dr. Barry Kudrowitz MIT It is believed that wit, being spontaneous humor production, is strongly related to creativity as both involve making nonobvious connections between seemingly unrelated things.
  7. 7. 7 Personas & Proto-Personas Proto-Personas & Personas
  8. 8. 8 Personas Proto-Personas & Personas Alan Cooper Cooper The users fell into three distinct groups, clearly differentiated by their goals, tasks, and skill levels... These three were the first true, Goal-Directed, personas.
  9. 9. 9 Personas Proto-Personas & Personas Jeff Sauro Measuring Usability Personas are not what people tell you about themselves; they are observations and descriptions of why (motivation) a person does what he or she does.
  10. 10. 10 Personas Proto-Personas & Personas Lots of people Personas kind of suck.
  11. 11. 11 Proto-personas Proto-Personas & Personas Jeff Gothelf Neo Proto-personas give an organization a starting point from which to begin evaluating their products and to create some early design hypotheses.
  12. 12. 12 Proto-personas Proto-Personas & Personas Todd Wilkens IBM Design Proto-personas highlight the importance of intuition in the process of qualitative research. It is fundamental to invention and discovery.
  13. 13. 13 The difference Proto-Personas & Personas • Based on research • Represents an observed and validated pattern across people/users • Based on assumptions • Represents a hypothesized pattern across people/users Proto-Personas Personas
  14. 14. 14 The difference Proto-Personas & Personas research • Represents an observed and validated pattern across people/users assumptions hypothesized pattern across people/users Proto-Personas Personas
  15. 15. 15 So, what’s their real purpose? Proto-Personas & Personas • Communicate a user type
  16. 16. 16 But, what’s their real purpose? Proto-Personas & Personas • Communicate a user type • Help us relate
  17. 17. 17 Characters Characters “It is often the source of the most important pieces of ‘fiction’ that end up in a truly powerful persona. Personas based purely on recorded fact without this crucial step of intuition and interpretation are lifeless and usually fail to create empathy or inspire good design.” - Todd Wilkens, IBM Design
  18. 18. 18 What’s a character? Characters • “ the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual” • “a person in a narrative work of arts” • “the quality of a person”
  19. 19. 19 Why a character? Characters • Not too specific, not too abstract
  20. 20. 20 Why a character? Characters • Not too specific, not too abstract • Character creation inherently forms an emotional bond
  21. 21. 21 Why a character? Characters • Not too specific, not too abstract • Character creation inherently forms an emotional bond • Characters evolve, as do people
  22. 22. 22 Why a character? Characters • Not too specific, not too abstract • Character creation inherently forms an emotional bond • Characters evolve, as do people • Characters, particularly humorous ones, can make certain people more relatable
  23. 23. 23 Why humorous characters? Characters Comedy challenges assumptions and humor broadens perspectives, thus enhancing creativity. Dr. Peter McGraw Humor Research Lab, The University of Colorado, Boulder
  24. 24. 24 Humor Characters • Humor is essential to humanity
  25. 25. 25 Humor Characters • Humor is essential to humanity • Humor accounts for weakness in character
  26. 26. 26 Humor Characters • Humor is essential to humanity • Humor accounts for weakness in character • Sharing humor is sharing an understanding
  27. 27. 27 Humor Characters • Humor is essential to humanity • Humor accounts for weakness in character • Sharing humor is sharing an understanding • Research shows that the brain can recall humorous content more easily than non- humorous content
  28. 28. 28 Improv & humorous characters Characters • Characters are built from our subconscious observance of people and patterns
  29. 29. 29 Improv & humorous characters Characters • Characters are built from our subconscious observance of people and patterns • Traits are born implicitly and seamlessly from spontaneous action
  30. 30. 30 Improv exercise (30 minutes) Exercise
  31. 31. 31 Creating characters Characters • How we create them depends on the information we have up-front
  32. 32. 32 Creating characters Characters • How we create them depends on the information we have up-front • Start with a core and build, explicitly showing attributes
  33. 33. 33 Draw your character (10 minutes) Exercise Imagine that your character is using a website to find a new apartment in New York City.
  34. 34. 34 Break (10 minutes) Break
  35. 35. 35 Brainstorming Brainstorming “I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked onto the stage he was fully born.” - Charlie Chaplin
  36. 36. 36 Giving purpose Brainstorming Communicate a user type Help relate to the user Name Gender Age [Image] Pain points Needs Goals Attitudes Behaviors
  37. 37. 37 Giving purpose Brainstorming Communicate a user type Help relate to the user Name Gender Age [Image] Pain points Needs Goals Attitudes Behaviors Depends on the projectIt depends
  38. 38. 38 Some “It depends” elements Brainstorming • Experience and experience level • Priorities • Skills and skill level • Technical skill and savviness • Occupation • Interests • Hobbies • Languages spoken • Personal network / social groups • Location • Schedule • Routines • Marital status • Family size & orientation • Living situation • Income • Education level • Disability or illness • Cultural background • Race & ethnicity • Motivations • Emotions and emotional triggers
  39. 39. 39 Remember Brainstorming • The variables you choose are assumptions, too
  40. 40. 40 Remember Brainstorming • The variables you choose are assumptions, too • All choices should support one or both of the purposes Communicate a user type Help relate to the user Name Gender Age [Image] Pain points Needs Goals Attitudes Behaviors Depends on the project
  41. 41. 41 Remember Brainstorming • The variables you choose are assumptions, too • All choices should support one or both of the purposes • The choices you make can help inform assumptions about pain points and solutions Communicate a user type Help relate to the user Name Gender Age [Image] Pain points Needs Goals Attitudes Behaviors Depends on the project
  42. 42. 42 Remember Brainstorming • The variables you choose are assumptions, too • All choices should support one or both of the purposes • The choices you make can help inform assumptions about pain points and solutions • Every project is / can be different Communicate a user type Help relate to the user Name Gender Age [Image] Pain points Needs Goals Attitudes Behaviors Depends on the project
  43. 43. 43 Mapping attributes Brainstorming Very general Not useful Very useful Very specific
  44. 44. 44 Mapping attributes Brainstorming Not useful Very useful Very general What’s an attribute that is important to document for all/most of my proto- personas? Very specific
  45. 45. 45 Mapping attributes Brainstorming Not useful Very useful Very general Very specific What attributes are useful to document, in that they help to fulfill the purpose of a proto-persona?
  46. 46. 46 Mapping attributes Brainstorming Not useful Very useful Very general Very specific What attributes are worth documenting for specific personas, but may not be relevant for all/most?
  47. 47. 47 Mapping attributes Brainstorming Not useful Very useful Very general Very specific What attributes aren’t worth documenting, and don’t contribute to the purpose of the proto- persona?
  48. 48. 48 Mapping attributes Brainstorming
  49. 49. 49 The story of Mike Brainstorming
  50. 50. 50 The story of Mike Brainstorming Del the Funky Homosapien Deltron 3030 Why should I hate you/ We ain’t that different/ We may act different in some ways/ But we still group together like a survey
  51. 51. 51 Mapping attributes (15 minutes) Exercise Imagine that your character is using a website to find a new apartment in New York City. What else do you want to know? Not useful Very useful Very specific Very general
  52. 52. 52 Defining the User Type Defining the User Type “Every character, when born, is a stereotype.” - Michael Patrick King, Director, Writer & Producer
  53. 53. 53 Improv exercise (30 minutes) Exercise
  54. 54. 54 Communicating a type Defining the User Type • Embody the character • How you’ve framed your character should infer needs, behaviors, pain points • Remember to ask, “If this, then what”
  55. 55. 55 Discover needs, pain points, solutions (20 minutes) Exercise Pair up. Take turns ranting. As your partner rants, write down pain points, ideas for solutions, whatever comes to you.
  56. 56. 56 Break (10 minutes) Break
  57. 57. 57 Evolving Personas Evolving Personas “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” - Henry David Thoreau
  58. 58. 58 Choosing a character set Evolving Personas • A character is as good as the characters around them
  59. 59. 59 Choosing a character set Evolving Personas • A character is as good as the characters around them • Pay attention to ALL of the attributes of the people you research with
  60. 60. 60 Refining after research Evolving Personas • Re-chart the usefulness of your variables and character data
  61. 61. 61 Refining after research Evolving Personas • Re-chart the usefulness of your variables and character data • Aim to build on the character rather than start fresh (though sometimes this can’t be avoided)
  62. 62. 62 Refining after research Evolving Personas • Re-chart the usefulness of your variables and character data • Aim to build on the character rather than start fresh (though sometimes this can’t be avoided) • Create a format that works for you and the project
  63. 63. 63 Photos vs. drawings Evolving Personas Photos of real people are great, but you might end up with thoughts like...
  64. 64. 64 Photos vs. drawings Evolving Personas Photos of people are great, but you might end up with thoughts like... • What’s this guy’s real name?
  65. 65. 65 Photos vs. drawings Evolving Personas Photos of real people are great, but you end up with thoughts like... • What’s this guy’s real name? • Is this guy really looking for a new apartment?
  66. 66. 66 Photos vs. drawings Evolving Personas Photos of real people are great, but you end up with thoughts like... • What’s this guy’s real name? • Is this guy really looking for a new apartment? • What if this guy doesn’t deserve a nice apartment?! (MIKE!)
  67. 67. 67 Using the personas Evolving Personas The best personas are internalized.
  68. 68. 68 Using the personas Evolving Personas WW_D?
  69. 69. 69 Post and review your characters (10 minutes) Exercise And, see who you ended up becoming...
  70. 70. 70 Thank you! Chelsey Delaney Senior UX Designer, Catalyst Group @chelseD catalystnyc.com Thank You Taren Sterry President, Taren Sterry Communication Coaching tarensterry.com

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