Lorelei Brown [email_address]
<ul><li>My first website launched circa 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>Worked in agencies, non-profits, media companies, associati...
<ul><li>Deliverables – the big picture </li></ul><ul><li>What is a persona, anyway? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The optimal way ...
 
<ul><li>A mutual reference point between you and your client </li></ul><ul><li>Not an end unto themselves </li></ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>A representation of current or desired audiences, backed by some kind of data  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demographics ...
<ul><li>The user is the expert on what they need </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You report on behaviors, trends and tactics that ar...
<ul><li>Strong ethnography </li></ul><ul><li>Usability testing </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on contact with potential users </l...
<ul><li>“ Personas based on anything less than full ethnographic research and contextual inquiry are like tits on a bull –...
<ul><li>“ Some data is better than no data – just don’t make sh*t up” </li></ul>
<ul><li>Search analytics </li></ul><ul><li>Site traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Info about the business </li></ul><ul><li>Other ...
<ul><li>Guerilla personas are about 80% right </li></ul><ul><li>They are 90% effective at facilitating discussion  </li></...
<ul><li>Classic elements  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Photo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zeitgeist ...
 
 
 
 
 
 
<ul><li>Things people want to do </li></ul><ul><li>Why people want to do them </li></ul><ul><li>How to make them successfu...
<ul><li>Prioritize the most important tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Compare like tasks  </li></ul><ul><li>Answer both what they ...
<ul><li>Disclaimer: I made these up based on my observations  </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t have statisticals, but I have a lo...
 
 
 
 
Carve an elephant First, get a block of marble and then remove everything that doesn’t look like an elephant. Present only...
<ul><li>Consider it forensic anthropology – construct a picture from artifacts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Analytics </li...
<ul><li>Tells you WHAT happened, but not WHY </li></ul><ul><li>Gives a big scale picture of what’s popular, paths, entry a...
<ul><li>If there’s money, someone has recorded it. </li></ul><ul><li>Offline behaviors inform/predict online behaviors </l...
<ul><li>Tracks vocabulary, what people might want that you don’t offer/feature </li></ul><ul><li>Seasonal variations </li>...
<ul><li>Call center/email/contact us mail </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(we really do read this at Verizon, btw, be nice!) </li></...
<ul><li>This is a brand spanking new field, so use with caution! </li></ul><ul><li>Eavesdrop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter...
<ul><li>If you can, take a broad survey with the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are you visiting? </li></ul></ul><ul...
<ul><li>Think about the comparison points </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What problem can you solve for these people? </li></ul></u...
<ul><li>Focus and context  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t make a blanket statement – give an example </li></ul></ul><ul><li>S...
<ul><li>Stakeholders may not buy into this methodology – it’s different from what they know </li></ul><ul><li>Be an expert...
<ul><li>Be an interpreter </li></ul><ul><li>Be a forensic anthropologist </li></ul><ul><li>Carve the elephant </li></ul><u...
<ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://marriedias.blogspot.com </li></ul>
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Lightweight Personas and Cheap Ass User Research

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Outlines how to do user research and develop personas on the cheap. Not exhaustive, but a great place to start if you don't have a lot of time or money.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Technology

Lightweight Personas and Cheap Ass User Research

  1. 1. Lorelei Brown [email_address]
  2. 2. <ul><li>My first website launched circa 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>Worked in agencies, non-profits, media companies, associations, big, small (you’ve heard of some of them, never heard of the rest) </li></ul><ul><li>Degree in Public Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Content Strategist at Verizon </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Deliverables – the big picture </li></ul><ul><li>What is a persona, anyway? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The optimal way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The guerilla way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7 behaviors that you should represent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to assemble data on the cheap </li></ul><ul><li>How to use personas wisely and well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When they love it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When they hate it </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>A mutual reference point between you and your client </li></ul><ul><li>Not an end unto themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Justifications and documentation of decisions in the product </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>A representation of current or desired audiences, backed by some kind of data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demographics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychographics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Read the history: http://www.cooper.com/journal/2003/08/the_origin_of_personas.html </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>The user is the expert on what they need </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You report on behaviors, trends and tactics that are not your opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start to talk about the users’ motivations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The designer becomes the ambassador for the users point of view </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Strong ethnography </li></ul><ul><li>Usability testing </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on contact with potential users </li></ul><ul><li>As little speculation as you can </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of money, a lot of time – or do it the guerilla way </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>“ Personas based on anything less than full ethnographic research and contextual inquiry are like tits on a bull – useless.” </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>“ Some data is better than no data – just don’t make sh*t up” </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Search analytics </li></ul><ul><li>Site traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Info about the business </li></ul><ul><li>Other people’s research </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Guerilla personas are about 80% right </li></ul><ul><li>They are 90% effective at facilitating discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Manage the expectations about what you’re going to get with any ‘sample users’ </li></ul><ul><li>No single persona will solve all your problems </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Classic elements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Photo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zeitgeist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks </li></ul></ul>
  13. 20. <ul><li>Things people want to do </li></ul><ul><li>Why people want to do them </li></ul><ul><li>How to make them successful and satisfied </li></ul><ul><li>Demographics/photos </li></ul>
  14. 21. <ul><li>Prioritize the most important tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Compare like tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Answer both what they need and what will make them happy </li></ul><ul><li>Use a/s/l/$$$ only as key differentiators </li></ul>
  15. 22. <ul><li>Disclaimer: I made these up based on my observations </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t have statisticals, but I have a lot of RFPs and meeting notes </li></ul><ul><li>Someone is going to raise these issues – think ahead on how to recast them </li></ul>
  16. 27. Carve an elephant First, get a block of marble and then remove everything that doesn’t look like an elephant. Present only as much as you need to think about the problem.
  17. 28. <ul><li>Consider it forensic anthropology – construct a picture from artifacts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Analytics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business owners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External research & stats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey </li></ul></ul>
  18. 29. <ul><li>Tells you WHAT happened, but not WHY </li></ul><ul><li>Gives a big scale picture of what’s popular, paths, entry and exit points </li></ul><ul><li>Shows external navigation – referrers, search terms, keywords – a good portrait of affinity </li></ul><ul><li>Most valuable when taken as a body and aligned with other groups </li></ul><ul><li>Often volatile when someone feels like they could be more visible </li></ul>
  19. 30. <ul><li>If there’s money, someone has recorded it. </li></ul><ul><li>Offline behaviors inform/predict online behaviors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pew Internet Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>US Census </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foundations (Kaiser, Robert S. Wood, NEA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software companies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Universities (University of Witchita) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing – ClickZ, Hitwise, Jupiter, etc </li></ul></ul>
  20. 31. <ul><li>Tracks vocabulary, what people might want that you don’t offer/feature </li></ul><ul><li>Seasonal variations </li></ul><ul><li>Searching process </li></ul>
  21. 32. <ul><li>Call center/email/contact us mail </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(we really do read this at Verizon, btw, be nice!) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Email subscriptions, registrations, event attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Membership profiles/statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Captures people who may not hit the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Gets some buy-in from skeptics </li></ul>
  22. 33. <ul><li>This is a brand spanking new field, so use with caution! </li></ul><ul><li>Eavesdrop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter conversations – very pungent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gauge Affinity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bookmarking </li></ul></ul>
  23. 34. <ul><li>If you can, take a broad survey with the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are you visiting? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did you find what you were looking for? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How often do you visit? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Were you satisfied with your experience? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How would you improve the site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use open fields, gauge for passion, quote heavily </li></ul>
  24. 35. <ul><li>Think about the comparison points </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What problem can you solve for these people? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they all need? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Infer from your external sources for your narrative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Active in community, joins clubs, politically conservative = Member of the Lions Club </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Carve the elephant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What does each piece of data mean? Which matters? </li></ul></ul>
  25. 36. <ul><li>Focus and context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t make a blanket statement – give an example </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Someone we can relate to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When conversations get off track, bring them back to the users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A well of goofiness to relieve tension </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paperbag puppets, action figures, playlets… </li></ul></ul>
  26. 37. <ul><li>Stakeholders may not buy into this methodology – it’s different from what they know </li></ul><ul><li>Be an expert but prepare to revise (you can study, but you’re not the expert in their business) </li></ul><ul><li>Explain your relationships and comparisons, then address specific concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Suck it up. Rethink, try again tomorrow. </li></ul>
  27. 38. <ul><li>Be an interpreter </li></ul><ul><li>Be a forensic anthropologist </li></ul><ul><li>Carve the elephant </li></ul><ul><li>Put it all together </li></ul><ul><li>Have fun </li></ul>
  28. 39. <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://marriedias.blogspot.com </li></ul>

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