Using Personas to Target Users

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Personas were made famous by Alan Moore in "The Inmates are Running the Asylum", a seminal book on user interface design for computer programmers. They have been used for decades in the marketing industry to help target specific market segments with ads and products. Personas help you frame feature discussions while developing your software, guide your communication and conference strategy, and ultimately help you to have a more popular, better project.

This presentation will cover the basics of:
* What is a persona?
* How do I come up with one (or several) for my project?
* What can I do with them?

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Using Personas to Target Users

  1. 1. Using personasto target usersDave NearyOpen Source & StandardsRed Hatdneary@redhat.com Icons: CC BY-SA Tango Project
  2. 2. Problem statement● “Our users want...”● “We have to think of end users”● “No-one uses <feature X>”● “We need <feature Y>”● “We have to have source code / bug tracker / license / downloads / news on the front page”
  3. 3. What is marketing?
  4. 4. Know your target audience CC BY-SA, vizzzual.com @ flickr
  5. 5. Fix a problem they have
  6. 6. Get the word out
  7. 7. Go to where your users are Credits: CC BY-NC xckd.com/1012
  8. 8. Make it easy for people to try and use Credits: CC BY-NC-ND Come0nEileen, DeviantArt
  9. 9. Be nice! :-)
  10. 10. Persona{e,s}
  11. 11. The Origin of Personas
  12. 12. Persona basics● A persona should have enough detail to make the person “feel” real – Name – Photo – Age – Job – Family situation● Distilled characteristics of market segment (Cooper calls these “archetypes”)
  13. 13. oVirt example● Frank, 32, DevOps in mid sized company● Trusted to make tech choices for evaluation● Tech enthusiast, hobbyist programmer
  14. 14. JBoss example ● Matthias, 40-50, Senior application developer ● Career IT professional, late adopter, uses Eclipse on Windows. ● Responsible for internal application development in his company ● Family manPersona © Red HatReproduced with permission
  15. 15. What use are they?● Do I need a different user interface for different users? – In-flight entertainment: passenger, hostess, airline technician, manager of media partnerships – Educational software – kids (by age), teachers, parents● How can I reach my target audience? – What magazines, blogs, news sites does Frank read? – Does he go to conferences? If so, which ones?
  16. 16. What use are they? (2)● What features do I need? – Does Frank really need this feature? – Can we pick better defaults to avoid asking Matthias questions which would make him nervous? – Somebody better be able to install & demo JBoss in 30 minutes, or Matthias will dismiss it● What should our website look like? – Jane will want to get links to help before she hears about the latest features
  17. 17. Personas focus debate and discussion Credit: CC BY Nina Matthews Photography@flickr
  18. 18. Creating a persona Step 1: Interviews Credits: CC BY-NC-SA toastkid@flickr
  19. 19. Creating a personaStep 2:Cluster andconsolidateprofiles intoarchetypes
  20. 20. Creating a personaStep 2:Cluster andconsolidateprofiles intoarchetypes
  21. 21. Community types● User & Deployer communities – Engaged user – Want to share experiences, help others advocate project – Deployer/developer – Packagers, integrators, documentation, translation, people who bridge code to user● Core developer communities – Extension developer – plug-ins, extensions, integration with 3rd party applications – Core developer – Core code
  22. 22. Creating a persona Step 3: Simplify into archetypes Credits: CC BY-SA-NC fedoreando.wordpress.com
  23. 23. End result● Easier design and product conversations about target users and audiences● A better idea of publications, conferences and websites to target with outreach● A better idea of what your users want from your website and community experience● More, happier users!
  24. 24. The end. Questions? Dave Neary Open Source and Standards Red HatCredits: CC BY-NC-NDlimpa-vias.blogspot.fr dneary@redhat.com

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