Jen McGinn persona development for upa (uxpa) 2012

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This is the persona presentation I gave at the 2012 UPA/UxPA conference in Las Vegas. There's a very similar version of the talk that I gave to the Boston UPA in 2011, which you can also find on slideshare, here:
http://www.slideshare.net/UPABoston/persona-development

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  • When I created this slide deck, it was on a Mac, using a PowerPoint template -- it's always bugged me that "shrink to fit" option didn't work properly on the PC, making it look like it was formatted by monkeys. At the time, SlideShare didn't have a re-upload option, but since it does now, I've gone back and fixed the slide formatting.
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  • US response was under 30%, over 90 countries were represented 
  • Jen McGinn persona development for upa (uxpa) 2012

    1. 1. PERSONA DEVELOPMENT EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW, BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK Jen McGinn Principal User Experience Engineer, Oracle 6/9/2012
    2. 2. Introduction  Jen McGinn  BS Information Systems, MS Human Factors in Information Design  UX career: Sun, SolidWorks, Nokia, Oracle  UI Design & User research  Survey design and analysis  Persona development  Heuristic evaluation  Reviewer for CHI, UPA conference committee, reviewer for JUS, Boston UPA Board of Directors Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    3. 3. Agenda  Definitions  Advice based on lessons learned from my experience  Persona development case studies  Ask questions! Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    4. 4. What are personas? Personas are a product design tool:  First “invented” by Alan Cooper, in 1999  A name for pretend users who represent populations (hypothetical archetypes)  Defined by their goals (goal-driven design), which are motivations for behaviors  1- to 2-page descriptions  Names and personal details  Originally used to drive interface design Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    5. 5. 6/9/2012Jen McGinn
    6. 6. Use Cases for Personas  Formative or summative?  Yes :)  Where are you in the design lifecycle?  Determines how the personas can be used  Validating a value proposition  Mocking up prototypes  Creating use cases for the technology  Recruiting for usability testing  How much do you already know about your users?  How well can you communicate that knowledge across organizations and up and down the management chain? Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    7. 7. Traditional persona development process  Cooper (1999)  “it is more important that a persona be precise than accurate”  Pruitt & Adlin (2006)  Identify important categories of users  Process the [existing] data  Identify & create skeletons  Prioritize the skeletons  Develop selected skeletons into personas  Validate your personas Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    8. 8. More approaches  Goodwin ( Multiple papers)  First to call for validation of personas  Mulder (2007)  Uses lots of quantitative data as well as qualitative data  Cooper, Reimann, Cronin (2007)  “Personas are based on research”  McGinn & Kotamraju (CHI 2008)  Large-scale survey first, followed by targeted interviews Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    9. 9. Getting started  Don't work in a vacuum  Get all the stakeholders involved  What are the big questions that the business needs to answer?  Use your subject matter experts  Not as a direct data source  People who can provide background  Give a 20- to 30-minute talk to the team to define expectations  What data will and won’t be gathered?  Ask about time and budget constraints Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    10. 10. How to get buy-in  Position the personas as a way to validate what they already know or challenge the conventional wisdom  Define terms and UCD concepts  Compare & contrast what you do to 'x'  Use what you know about the client organization  What do they value?  What is their language?  What is their history?  What are they being goaled on?  Align your data gathering with their business needs Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    11. 11. Persona attributes  Generic  Education, work experience, age, computer proficiency, income, geography, relationship status, number of children, pets, etc.  Specific  Germane to the problems that your organization is to trying to solve  Collaboration in distributed meetings  Project and portfolio management  Training and certification  Cell phone and laptop users  Caregivers and patients Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    12. 12. Persona attributes  What attributes should you include?  (Signal)Attributes that are germane to the problems that your organization is to trying to solve  Are you working for Petco?  For Peapod?  For Bank of America?  For Dell?  What attributes should you omit?  Everything else  (Noise) Any attribute that is not germane to the problems that your organization is trying to solve Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    13. 13. Kinds of questions  Demographic: Age, job role, education  May be important for user segmentation  Help to determine the value of the user group  And subsequently, to determine their high-value tasks  User Research: Behavior, reporting prior experience  What motivates you to take training?  Who approves your training?  How much have you spent on training in the last year?  Marketing: Opinions, preferences, future-focused  How much will you spend on training this year? Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    14. 14. How many personas?  How do you know when you have enough?  When you’re not learning anything new  Not enough?  Test: Can you say one way or the other that the persona would appreciate a given feature and why?  Example: Developer, System Administrator, Manager  Too many?  Test: Are there attributes that are repeated across personas? Can you take what’s left and move it into another persona?  Example: College student, 23- to 28-year-old professional, 29- to 35- year-old professional Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    15. 15. Photos  Will they be used for internal only purposes?  Where to find or get photos  Istockphoto.com or another royalty-free site  Internal database of employees, Facebook  Take them yourself  Hire them out to an agency  Alternatives to photos  Comics/drawings  Action figures? (Cisco)  What would work best in your organization? Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    16. 16. Names  Alliteration  Sally the sales sleuth, Jared the Java Developer  When in the process to give your personas names  Too early: focus on wrong attribute  Too late: no-one can remember the name  What attribute do you feature?  What are you measuring?  How is this persona differentiated from the others?  Specific behavior (sales sleuth, list maker)  Demographic attribute (college student, retiree)  Job tasks or roles (middleware administrator, doctor)  Attitude or value (social connector v. seeks entertainment)  Goals (attend a meeting v. host a meeting) Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    17. 17. Cisco, 2007 6/9/2012Jen McGinn http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1240866.1240905
    18. 18. Validation  Is it necessary?  Confidence & credibility  What are the various methods?  Use a different kind and type of method than what you used to initially develop the personas  Build it into the persona development process  Make sure you have data from one quantitative method and one qualitative  Examples:  Survey + phone interviews  Brainstorming, focus groups, and surveys  Ethnography (on-site interviews) and survey Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    19. 19. Reporting  Power Point  As many diagrams as possible  20 to 90 minutes  What do you cover?  Goals  Development process  Implementation details  Findings  Next steps Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    20. 20. How long will it take?  It depends :)  How long do you have?  What other constraints are on the problem?  What is the scale of the research? Are these personas for one product, or the whole company?  How many and which methods will you use?  At least 2: One quantitative + one qualitative  Which activities need to be performed serially vs. what can be performed in parallel? Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    21. 21. How much will it cost?  Time – yours and your colleagues'  Planning  Recruiting  Conducting research  Analyzing data  Developing personas  Reporting out  “Materials”  Incentives  Lab  Survey vendor  Translation  Food & drinks Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    22. 22. UIE’s Attributes of Successful Personas 6/9/2012Jen McGinn  Five Factors for Successful Persona Projects  http://www.uie.com/articles/successful_persona_projects/ 1. Conduct First-hand Research 2. Include The Broader Team 3. Develop an Intimate Knowledge of Each Persona 4. Be Relevant to the Immediate Design Objectives 5. Provide Rich Scenarios for Each Persona
    23. 23. Existing Product Case Study Issue: Training organization needed to know more about who was taking training and getting professional certification; all of their data was anecdotal Research Goal: Develop personas for the organization to provide a framework for understanding and organizing conflicting marketing data; use this new understanding to drive revenue growth in the coming fiscal year Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    24. 24. Method 1. Worked with the client team to determine important persona attributes 2. Created a survey to gather data that the organization needed on their customers 3. Invited customers to take the survey (1328 completes) 4. Used statistical factor analysis to create initial persona groupings 5. Followed up with (~30) targeted interviews 6. Adjusted the groups as necessary 7. Personas distilled the survey data & interviews into meaningful chunks Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    25. 25. Geographies Represented Persona Family 1 Persona Family 2 Persona Family 3 Persona Family 4Harry Larry Sam Dan Mike Alex Joanna Jared Terry Carly Manny Americas 41% 49% 50% 38% 47% 59% 41% 43% 38% 43% 52% APAC 28% 19% 19% 35% 22% 22% 37% 31% 25% 29% 20% EMEA 31% 32% 32% 27% 31% 19% 23% 26% 37% 28% 28% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    26. 26. Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    27. 27. New Product Case Study Issue: New product development team was designing for users that the company had never tried to sell to before. Initial personas had been brainstormed. Research Goals: Validate the personas Get feedback on the value proposition from representatives of the persona groups Get more data on what they used their cell phones and laptops for Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    28. 28. Method  Personas  Brainstormed 7 distinct personas with the dev team  Got management to narrow the research focus to 3  Recruited 8 – 10 participants for each of 3 focus groups  Each participant completed a lengthy survey detailing their cell phone and laptop habits  Desired outcomes:  Persona validation/new information  Feedback on value proposition & physical designs  Determine which service to develop first Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    29. 29. Technological proficiency Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    30. 30. Pre-session Questionnaire 2. Other than making and receiving calls, what do you use your cell phone for? Select all that apply. ___ Nothing else ___ Viewing email attachments ___ Web access ___ Editing documents ___ Listening to music ___ Personal Organizer / Calendar ___ Taking pictures ___ Check on my auctions ___ Viewing or editing photos ___ Alarm clock ___ Text messaging ___ Calculator ___ Video messaging ___ GPS / Mapping ___ Address book ___ Games ___ Taking notes ___ Shopping lists ___ Online Banking ___ Watching videos or TV shows ___ Email ___ Other ___________________ ___ Social networking (MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on) Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    31. 31. Pre-session Questionnaire 16. What do you most frequently use your computer for? Select up to ten answers. ___ Work or school work (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations) ___ To-do lists ___ Email and correspondence ___ Listening to the radio ___ Watching TV ___ Watching videos on the web ___ Watching DVDs or downloaded movies ___ Archiving or listening to my music collection ___ Social networking (MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on) ___ Researching products, services, or companies ___ Shopping (purchasing, not researching) ___ Selling on eBay, Amazon, Craig’s list, or other site ___ Instant messaging …... Too many more to list to be legible on the slide … Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    32. 32. Example of resulting findings Top uses for cell phone other than making/receiving calls •Text messaging (19 of 20) •Alarm clock (17 of 20) •Calculator (14 of 20) •Address book (12 of 20) •Taking pictures (12 of 20) •Personal organizer (10 of 20) Most-frequently used applications on their computers: •Email & correspondence (20) •Office productivity tools (18) •Mapping/directions (18) •Online banking (16) •Reading news sites, feeds, or blogs (14) •Watching videos on the web (13) •Researching products & services (13) •Shopping (purchasing) (13) These were discrete sets (in early 2007) Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    33. 33. Take-aways 6/9/2012Jen McGinn  Personas can be as effective or ineffective as any other research method  Personas should be aligned closely with the business goals of your stakeholders  Conduct original research to develop them  Use multiple types of methods  Find out what resonates with your stakeholders (branding or Barbies?)  Have fun 
    34. 34. Questions? ??? Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    35. 35. References  Books  The Inmates are Running the Asylum, by Alan Cooper (1999)  About Face 3, by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, and David Cronin (2007)  The Persona Lifecycle, by John Pruitt & Tamara Adlin (2006).  The User is Always Right, Steve Mulder with Ziv Yaar  Papers  Kim Goodwin's Articles on Cooper.com http://www.cooper.com/insights/journal_of_design/articles/ Jen McGinn 6/9/2012
    36. 36. PERSONA DEVELOPMENT EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW, BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK Jen McGinn Principal User Experience Engineer, Oracle 6/9/2012

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