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Scaling empathy with personas


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What I have learned over the last few years is that personas don’t have to be fake windsurfing grandma’s. They can transform big data into easy to understand composite customers that will allow you to scale your understanding of the customer across the design team and a growing company.

Published in: Design
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Scaling empathy with personas

  1. 1. Scaling empathy with personas
  2. 2. All characters appearing in this work are, fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons,, living or dead, is purely coincidental.,
  3. 3. A persona is a compelling profile for a, significant segment of your customers or users,
  4. 4. Creation Dr. Tomasz Miaskiewicz
  5. 5. Personal relationships don’t scale Understanding of the customer was on the decline ● Feedback from an increasingly small customer segment ● Feedback driven by exception cases ● Employee onboarding was slowing Product decisions were increasingly harder and less clear ● New features were delivering increasingly less value ● Product was becoming increasingly complex ● Slowing design and development
  6. 6. CustomerPrintsSegmentation Personas Use cases & UML Agile & user stories A simplified history (1986) (1993) (1995)(1950) (2001)
  7. 7. Persona benefits Creates an understanding of users in a way that is compelling and understandable ● Presents complex data in an easily understandable profile format ● Summarizes their behaviors ● Communicates the goals and motivations of the users ● Builds empathy for users People make better and faster decisions in designing and delivering product ● Gets research out of the lab and into the organization ● Grounds company decisions in research ● Focus designs on a single concrete user with minimal exception cases ● Allows for shared customer understanding across the organization
  8. 8. Segmentation Consolidate user data Derive hypotheses Collect additional data Initial segmentation Gather and review existing user data sources Employee survey Customer support tickets UserVoice Identify the attributes and variables that differentiate our users Technical skills Demographics Business characteristics Personality traits Use one or more items for each of the attributes and variables Survey ~600 users Demographic data (What is your age?) Psychographic data (Being efficient is important to me) Qualitative data (What makes a good work day?) Identify 5-8 statistically significant segments Perform cluster analysis Run multiple models to look for significant attributes Finalize significant attributes 6 clusters identified
  9. 9. Persona development Examine qualitative data Conduct interviews Finalize segmentation Gather and review qualitative data Customer survey UserVoice suggestions Interview user by segment for richer user context ~20 interviews Describe your work environment Typical daily processes and task Points of frustration Personal and work priorities Segment with qualitative and quantitative data Group and process all qualitative data Review the initial segmentation against interviews Fill out quantitative segmentation with the interview data Create personas Transform the data into an understandable profile Draft a profile for each segment Highlight key characteristics and data Provide detailed and summary view
  10. 10. Primary goals Key data attributes Research details Snapshot statements Representativeness scale
  11. 11. Key questions Factoids Company characteristics Link to research Summary statement Environment Detailed goals and behavior
  12. 12. Usage
  13. 13. Incorporating personas User goals for discovering solutions User activities for communicating solution experiences User stories for development tracking
  14. 14. User goal Alice - Knowing I am able to reach a real person makes me confident that I am able to get my questions answered when I run into problems. Who What Want
  15. 15. User activity Alice - I noticed a problem with the transactions on a lease and I need help fixing it Alice is busy reviewing a customer's lease ledger and sees an confusing credit that she does not understand and is unsure if she can delete it. She starts looking around for help and sees the “Support and help” menu in the top right of the screen. Clicking on the navigation opens up the menu to show a list of support options and help options for her to use. This time Alice prefers to call and sees that Buildium has a phone number she can call and is happy that she can see what hours the support folks are available and that she can call in immediately.
  16. 16. Pulling it all together
  17. 17. Delivery (agile y’all) Features become epics and are given a feature flag User activities are broken down into user stories and estimated Stories are linked to personas and use the persona in the standard user story format
  18. 18. Broader company culture Driving customer understanding ● Provides framework for internal discussions about customers ● Common touch point and understanding across departments Speeds employee onboarding; helps them understand our customers ● Sets a base of understanding for all new employees ● Provides work context Personas provide important context to drive sales and marketing conversations ● Sets messages and language ● Provides context for marketing and sales programs
  19. 19. Future
  20. 20. Push out and into the business Personas are mostly limited to product and customer conversations No way to know how different personas impact our business performance Limited ways to leverage our knowledge during customer support, marketing, and sales
  21. 21. Automatic detection and integration Refine the persona model to (semi) automate detection Push personas into core business systems Drive application personalization
  22. 22. Acquisition marketing survey Ask five groups of questions Generates a custom recommendation about the product fit Records the data entered for usage by marketing and sales Tara Connelly UX Designer