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Putting Personas to Work


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Making a good persona is just the beginning. They need to be recognized and relied on by the entire team. Creating a successful persona program can be a huge challenge. Learn strategies for making sure that the personas you create become essential to your team.

Published in: Design, Technology
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Putting Personas to Work

  1. 1. UPA International Conference June, 2012 Putting Personas to Work Presented byCarol Smith & Richard Douglass@Carologic @RichardDouglass
  2. 2. Getting Personas AdoptedThroughout Your Organization
  3. 3. WHICH STUDENT? via (Christopher Alison Photography) viaPage 3
  4. 4. Selling Personas
  5. 5. G E T T I N G B U Y- I N F O R P E R S O N A S •We don’t need UX – we know our users •Tell us the story • What are they really doing? • What are their goals? • Roadblocks?Page 5
  6. 6. S E L L I N G I N T E R N A L LYPage 6
  8. 8. PROGRESSIVE DISCLOSURE •Like real-life, dating •You are the match-maker • Create opportunities to get to know them • Tell the story, effectively • Support recall of significant detailsPage 8
  10. 10. TELL THE STORY •Clarify how the personas are to be used • Support design and development • What they cannot do •For each persona: • Goals • Needs • How use product • Challenges • “Irrelevant Information” creates the mnemonic •Introduce Artifacts •Encourage and answer questionsPage 10
  11. 11. Get The Persona To Work
  12. 12. SHARE WHAT YOU LEARNPage 12
  13. 13. SUCCESSFUL PROGRAMS •Form a team that includes product/project team members •The team: • Supports persona development • Reviews personas regularly • Advocates for personas • Watches for opportunitiesPage 13
  14. 14. TEAM LEADER •Curates personas •Tracks work that may influence personas •Identifies opportunities to enhance themPage 14
  15. 15. KEEP PERSONAS ALIVE •Make opportunities to sew them into culture •Regular touch points •Refresh documentation regularly •E-mail addresses for personasPage 15
  16. 16. WORKING SESSIONS •Include them at meetings •Role play or “channel” the persona • Review of interface thru eyes of Persona • Analyze competition • Review stories/scenarios What would they do? Would they use this? The User is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the WebPage 16 by Steve Mulder and Ziv Yaar.
  17. 17. ACTIVITIES •Panel with “Personas” (role playing) • Individual teams, products, etc. • Answer questions in character •Meet & Greet •Birthday partyPage 17
  18. 18. A R T I FA C T S •Public • Posters • Large Boards •Personal • Persona • Reference Sheets • BooksPage 18
  20. 20. Managing Personas
  21. 21. C O M M U N I C AT I O N P L A N •What to communicate • Progressive disclosure - Highlights • Updates • Tips for use •When •To whom (team, stakeholders, etc.) •How (Web site, Email, etc.)Page 21
  22. 22. U P D AT I N G P E R S O N A S •Plan: • Ongoing work • Include open questions in new projects. • Include in planning templates • Usability study triggers a persona review. • Communication Plan • Regular reviews. • Plan for distribution of updates.Page 22
  23. 23. REUSING PERSONAS •Up-to-date personas and profiles; • Can be used indefinitely for the same product; • If Goals and Needs remain static. •Potentially form “Persona Teams.” •Inform new persona development efforts. • Provide a preliminary context. •Do Not re-purpose for different: • Products • Scenarios • Needs and goalsPage 23
  24. 24. C R E AT E P E R S O N A T E A M S ( FA M I L I E S ) •Extend - include all aspects of experience. •Provides a preliminary context. •Complex set of products. •Group personas in meaningful ways.Page 24
  26. 26. E X A M P L E : E D U C AT I O N ( C O N T I N U E D ) •One persona to represent all Shoppers is extremely unlikely. •More likely: • Small set of personas for each role. • Few more for additional roles.Page 26
  27. 27. S H A R E W H AT Y O U K N O W •Personas interact at various times • In person. • Virtual “handshakes.” •Convey to the team: • Where occur? • When? • Frequency? • What information is exchanged?Page 27
  28. 28. F I N D PAT T E R N S , C O M M O N A L I T I E SPage 28
  29. 29. R E S U LT S •Knowledge of relationships between personas. •Frequency of their interactions. •What they need from each other. •What they provide to each other. •Different Lenses: • Pain points by: product, service, need, and motive. • Motivations based on personas: goals, needs, tasks, occupation, family, and environment. • Commonalities such as: tech use, tech purpose, demographics, occupation, and context of use.Page 29
  30. 30. R E S U LT S , C O N T •Once documented prioritize relationships • Team understands which interactions are most important to the users and the products functionality. • Visual work flows are ideal.Page 30
  31. 31. NEXT STEPS •Identify gaps and plan to fill them. •Sync with market segments (if they exist).Page 31
  32. 32. S TA R T N O W •Creating strawman Profiles now •Schedule and conduct research with users •Expand Profiles into Personas •Build on what you know •Keep digging - each project can answer more questionsPage 32
  33. 33. D O U X E A R LY A N D O F T E N •Create Information Radiators • Personas • Artifacts • Schedule of activitiesPage 33
  35. 35. C O N TA C T U S Carol J. Smith Richard Douglass Twitter: @carologic Twitter: @richarddouglass LinkedIn: LinkedIn: Slideshare: Slideshare: Speaker Rate: Speaker Rate: richard-douglass caroljsmith E-mail: richard@improvedusability.comPage 35
  36. 36. QUESTIONS?
  37. 37. F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N •The User Is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web by Steve Mulder •The Persona Life-Cycle by John Pruitt and Tamara Adlin •The Inmates are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper •Observing the User Experience: A Practitioners Guide to User Research by Mike Kuniavsky •Additional Reference list: personas-to-inform-designPage 37
  38. 38. REFERENCES •Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services by Kim Goodwin (one chapter) •The Persona Life-Cycle by John Pruitt and Tamara Adlin •The User Is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web by Steve Mulder •The Inmates are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper •Observing the User Experience: A Practitioners Guide to User Research by Mike Kuniavsky •Babcock, L. and Sara Laschever. (2008). “Ask For It: How Women can use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want.” Bantam Books. •Godin, Seth. (2010) “Linchpin: Are you Indispensable?” Penguin Group. •Ury. William L. (1991) “Getting Past NO: Negotiating in Difficult Situations.” Bantam. •Fisher, Roger and William L. Ury. (1981) “Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.” Penguin Group. •Kennedy, Gavin. (2004). “Essential Negotiation.” The Economist and Profile Books LTD. •Lavington, Camille. (2004) “You’ve Only Got Three Seconds: How to make the right impression in your business and social life.” Doubleday. •Lewicki, Roy J., et. Al. (2004) “Essentials of Negotiation.” McGraw-Hill Irwin. •Young, Ed. (2011) “Justice is served, but more so after lunch: how food-breaks sway the decisions of judges.” Discover Magazine. after-lunch-how-food-breaks-sway-the-decisions-of-judges/ Retrieved on October 24, 2011.Page 38
  40. 40. CONTROVERSY •Irrelevant information •“Pseudo-science” • Not trying to be scientific • Statistical methods used to analyze data • Rigorous, repeatable methods • Result in mostly qualitative data The Persona Lifecycle : Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product DesignPage 40 by John Pruitt and Tamara Adlin
  41. 41. BENEFITS •Personas enable team to learn and remember user’s efficiently and effectively •Reduces chance decisions will be made based on seniority or influence in the organization •Make a better product •Help teams avoid: • Designing for themselves/technology • Designing for everyonePage 41