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Thinking Inside the Box: Using Personas to Prioritize Content


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Thinking Inside the Box: Using Personas to Prioritize Content

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Thinking Inside the Box: Using Personas to Prioritize Content

  1. 1. Thinking Inside the BoxUsing Personas to Prioritize ContentJune-July 2005UPA 2005 conferenceKatrina Friedman, Hot Studio
  2. 2. About me Former writer Then content strategist Then IA Now Director of UE, Hot Studio©2004 Hot Studio Page 2
  3. 3. Are you thinking inside the box? Content goes here©2004 Hot Studio Page 3
  4. 4. When content goes wrongNothing can blow up a project like poorly planned andmanaged content processIt’s often the thing that stands between a great design anda great site.©2004 Hot Studio Page 4
  5. 5. Our magic weapon Missile defense system? No! Persona? Yes!©2004 Hot Studio Page 5
  6. 6. What is a persona? Alan Cooper: “We make up pretend users and design for them. We call these pretend users “personas” and they are the necessary foundation of good interaction design.” (from “The Inmates are Running the Asylum”)©2004 Hot Studio Page 6
  7. 7. How do we use personas today? The good: They help design teams to think about who they are designing for. They can be a powerful tool in building consensus. The bad: After they’ve been created, they often sit on the shelf, collecting dust. They can be somewhat time-consuming to create, for little payoff if they’re not used throughout the project.©2004 Hot Studio Page 7
  8. 8. Personas can help Age: 37 Job: Technology Coordinator, Grandview Elementary School Responsibilities: • Research • Support • Teaching • Training Experience: • 14 years in education Barbara, tech coordinator • Previously taught English and 3rd, 4th “Help me find a technology & 5th grades product that’s going to improve achievement but • Four years in current job won’t scare away teachers .”©2004 Hot Studio Page 8
  9. 9. Example: Educational technology company Project: Redesign site to better support sales process.©2004 Hot Studio Page 9
  10. 10. Challenge: Explaining the products©2004 Hot Studio Page 10
  11. 11. Step 1. Create personas Goals: • Recommend the best technology possible • Keep her boss happy • Provide technology solutions that are easy for everyone to use Pain Points: • Finds it difficult to work with technophobic teachers and staff • Funding is tight and grants are rare Barbara • Burned in the past when a vendor “Help me find a technology went out of business product that’s going to improve achievement but • Very busy with constant won’t scare away teachers .” interruptions from students and staff©2004 Hot Studio Page 11
  12. 12. Step 2. Extract key questions What do you have to offer me? Does it work? How does it work? Who uses it? What do other people think about it? What do I need? What does it cost? How do I purchase it? Is it easy to implement? Is it easy to use? How can I give others the info they need to make a decision?©2004 Hot Studio Page 12
  13. 13. Step 3. Map existing content to questions key questions old content gaps©2004 Hot Studio Page 13
  14. 14. Step 4. Map new content to questions key questions old content new content©2004 Hot Studio Page 14
  15. 15. This method worked well for Identifying content gaps Prioritizing what new content should be created Helping client plan for additional resources needed©2004 Hot Studio Page 15
  16. 16. Happy ending©2004 Hot Studio Page 16
  17. 17. Example: Leading specialty retailer Project: Redesign corporate site for leading specialty retailer to better reflect brand.©2004 Hot Studio Page 17
  18. 18. Challenge: Responding to a gazillion requests From Governance & Compliance More robust information on the board; From Corporate Sales Visibility (of corp. sales info) on with links to the Corporate Sales site for more information; Messaging about company Inc.’s policy on unsolicited proposals (for Corp Sales); From company Foundation company Inc. executives speak to importance of company Foundation; Images of employees volunteering; Metrics (hours and dollars donated); International efforts in Canada and Europe, eventually reaching out to Asia (need to budget for international funding); Expanding employee gift-matching programs; From Compliance & Environmental Affairs Content that educates people on what each issue is; Content that educates people about what company means by social responsibility; Tell a Friend; Links to reports published by third parties; A short description about what third parties are saying about company’s role on certain issues, along with link to their sites; Curriculum for school kids ; Video clips (e.g., interviews with vendor compliance people); Information on the vendor approval process; Provide updated information on the “product lifecycle” (and provide more detail than is currently on the site); Explain decision-making process; Provide ways to interact with the information (e.g., clickable diagrams); Use more graphs and other More than 50 visual representations of important information; From Global Media Pitch stories to media with downloadable press kits (PDF); Add messaging about sponsorships (“company Inc. does not accept unsolicited proposals”) near/within Contact info; Provide videos of TV commercials* ; Special content area with sneak previews of upcoming commercials, imagery for new season for fashion press; *Repurpose FAQs in appropriate places (e.g., Social Responsibility); Showcase community relations work in Europe (some of this content exists on requests for companyWeb); Talk about brand-specific sponsorships in Press Room; Show product prices; Consolidate Contact Us in one place; From Investor Relations Give definitions of financial terms and how to understand financial reports; Downloadable financials as Excel spreadsheets, in addition to PDFs (very useful for analysts who need to make their own projections with this data); Product walk-through (must be password-protected); Some standard questions (flow dates, commercial dates) we can’t answer, but maybe we can provide new content or historical dates or other related information; From Recruiting Add links to international job sites for company Inc. (France, Canada, UK, Japan); Eventually offer careers section in multiple languages (French, Japanese, English) and tailored to the country’s culture (e.g., country- specific benefits).; Make store pages look exciting and vibrant, with photos of different locations and amenities; Bundle marketing information into a “job seeker kit” for candidates (articles, at-a-glance, annual report, CSR report, brand marketing material, links to maps, functionality! and directions to locations of interviews and work sites); Add content about cities (e.g., what is San Francisco like, what can I do there, housing costs, what’s it like to work there); Add more content about career paths, locations and pictures of company’s work sites, recruiting process (what to expect), audio clip, “on boarding” kit, “pre-boarding” kit for new hires; Add more information about fashion (especially for Japan), why company Inc. is the world’s largest specialty fashion retailer, differentiators; Add section about company Inc. designers, with bios and awards for best-designed pants, etc. New Functionality Requests Need printer-friendly versions of pages; Want to be able to track previous versions (this is mostly a CMS tool issue; however, we may need to provide a date stamp to each page); Provide a mechanism to notify “subscribers” if new information is published about a specific issue (global compliance and environmental affairs); Provide a useful search and make it generally easy to find information; Develop process for alerting media team members of new information/press kits on the site; Improve and expand on email alerts for disseminating timely information; Allow recruiting team to list all job postings on the site (team currently has issues with posting process for logistics, call centers, college-related, field, and hourly jobs); Provide means for recruiting team to monitor metrics; Use an easy-to-remember URL (from recruiting team); Add to job application “are you willing to relocate, and to which countries/cities?”; Allow candidates to categorize questions when sending email to expedite response process.©2004 Hot Studio Page 18
  19. 19. Step 1. Create personas “I just got moved into “I live my life “business reporting, “according to my “but I don’t know “values. My husband “what all the “and I encourage our “numbers mean.” “children to be active “in our community.” --Jessica, business reporter --Louise, socially responsible investor “I’m not just looking “I can read a balance for a job after sheet in 2 seconds. college— I want to Don’t make me waste find a good“career 10 minutes finding it.” path in business.” --John, institutional investor --Carl, job seeker Everyone else (includes students and current employees who use the corporate site)©2004 Hot Studio Page 19
  20. 20. Step 2. Organized list into categoriesExecutive board -- more robust information TV commercials—short video clips withExecutives speak on Foundation accompanying textFoundation metrics—hours and dollars Brand-specific sponsorships—e.g., Banana’sdonated sponsorships of the arts, etc.International efforts—community work in Product prices—in all currencies whereCanada, Europe, and eventually, Asia company Inc. has presence (note that this isEmployee gift-matching programs—info on problematic)how these are expanding Definitions of financial terms—e.g. How toGlobal Cmplnce & Envtl Affrs read the financial reportCompliance and environmental Excel spreadsheets—financials inbackground—info to educate people about downloadable format for analystswhat company thinks about issues Product walk-through—video, or still photosDefinition of Social Responsibility—explain and textwhat this means to company Multiple country versions of careersWhat third parties are saying about company section—Japanese, French Recruitingand CSR—short descriptions and links to Job-seeker “kit”—including at-a-glance,reports annual report, CSR report, etc.Curriculum for the classroom (CSR)—similar Content about cities—where company press-kit download has offices, including maps, photos,Vendor approval process—info on the directionsprocess, video clips with compliance people, Career paths at company Inc.—additional infoclickable interactive diagrams, etc to cover all main departments, could includeProduct lifecycle—updated info (and employee profilesillustrations) with more detail than currently Recruiting process (what to expect)available On boarding and pre-boarding kitsGlobal Media Company and fashion—why we’re world’sDownloadable press kits—organized on largest specialty fashion retailer; great ops fortheme-based stories designers Company designers—bios/profiles, awards ©2004 Hot Studio Page 20
  21. 21. Step 3. Map content requests to user needs content requests “I want this!” items©2004 Hot Studio Page 21
  22. 22. Step 4. Show level of effort for “I want this” content requests Easy, medium, or lots of work©2004 Hot Studio Page 22
  23. 23. Step 5. Make final recommendations content requests Easy, medium, or lots of work©2004 Hot Studio Page 23
  24. 24. Step 6. Rinse and repeat for functionality requests©2004 Hot Studio Page 24
  25. 25. This method worked well for Site that already had a lot of content Giving order to long list of requests Giving a large and diverse group a chance to participate Keeping internal politics to a minimum©2004 Hot Studio Page 25
  26. 26. Happy ending text©2004 Hot Studio Page 26
  27. 27. Deep Thoughts Be sure to focus on most critical questions Give everyone their say but don’t make any early promises Color-coding made a big difference Use the personas’ words and photos wherever possible©2004 Hot Studio Page 27
  28. 28. Thank you Katrina Friedman Hot Studio 848 Folsom St. #201 San Francisco, CA 94608 415.284.7250 x34©2004 Hot Studio Page 28