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Death to Personas!
Long Live Personas!



     Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde
            Catalyze, July 23, 2008
Your Presenters




  Steve Calde                                             Liz Bacon
  1992-1994 Rational Software                             1998-1999 dba MuseAll
  1994-1998 GW Associates, Inc.                           1999-2002 Cooper
  1998-today Cooper                                       2002-2007 St. Jude Medical
                                                          2007-today Devise
                                                          + Vice-President, IxDA



Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008              Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Our talk today covers:
        Reasons to dismiss personas—and why those
        reasons might be missing the point


        Tips for successfully using personas




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Not all good ideas are made to last




                                                            Jay Adachi,
                                                            Call Center Agent

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
What’s a persona?
        Profile of an archetypal user
        Represents the needs of many
        Based on research


                                                          Tom Brodie,
                                                          Shop Manager
                                                          Tom’s Goals:
                                                          • Keep the cars coming.
                    “Sometimes I’m so
                          busy fighting                   • Reduce labor percentages without
                       alligators that I                    sacrificing customer service.
                 forget about draining                    • Meet or exceed last year’s numbers for
                          the swamp.”                       this month.
                                                                                      Persona copyright ISI, Inc.

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008             Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Origins of personas
        Invented at Cooper


        Publicized in Alan Cooper’s “The Inmates are
        Running the Asylum” (SAMS, 1999)




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
What some people are saying about
   personas
                                        “Forget about personas.”
                                             - Don Norman

                   “We don’t use personas. We use ourselves.”
                                   - 37signals

                          “What is actionable about a persona?”
                                   - Robert Hoekman Jr

                          “Personas are user-centered bullshit.”
                                     - Steve Portigal

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008       Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
The question:
        Do we really need to create personas to design
        fantastic, innovative, user-centered solutions?




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
The question:
        Do we really need to create personas to design
        fantastic, innovative, user-centered solutions?

        Of course not!




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
The question:
        Do we really need to create personas to design
        fantastic, innovative, user-centered solutions?

        Of course not!

        But they sure can help...




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Why people hate personas
        • Personas are fluffy!
        • Personas are expensive!
        • Personas don’t design my product for me;
             they aren’t actionable
        • Personas really cramp my style; I just want to
             design what I like
        • How is understanding today’s users going to
             help me innovate a new product?


Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Fluffy
Expensive
Don’t Design Products
Cramp My Style
                        Fluffy
Today vs. Innovation
Helpful Tips
Personas are fluffy!




                                                                    Barbie® is a property of Mattel, Inc.

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Bad personas are fluffy
        “Bad” personas are fluffy.


        And yes, fluffy personas aren’t helpful for doing
        design or making decisions.




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Fluffy personas aren’t really
      personas
        Demographic info, photographs, and
        representative quotes are just small parts of a
        persona description.




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Personas are based on real data
        “Real” personas are not:
         •    Made up
         •    Job roles
         •    Statistical averages
         •    Based on one person
         •    Use case actors
         •    Market segments




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Traceable details
        By definition (well, ours at least) personas are
        based on data that design researchers heard or
        observed firsthand.




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Good descriptions
        Personas should capture:
        • Attitudes
        • Work or activity flows
        • Environmental factors
        • Skill level
        • Current frustrations
        • Goals
        Let’s read a persona description...

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Tom Brodie
                        Tom has 8 years of experience in lube shop operations. He’s married with
                        two young kids, and his wife jokes that the last time his hands were
                        completely free of grease was on his honeymoon 5 years ago. At the shop he
                        manages, Tom constantly puts out little fires. He works on the floor most of
                        the day, trying to be everywhere at the same time although he prefers to
                        act as greeter and cashier.

                        Most shop trends get measured on a monthly basis, since Tom has to meet
                        sales targets defined by the owner, Eddie, in order to get his manager’s
                        bonus. On a daily basis, Tom frequently monitors car counts, ticket average
                        and employee productivity (especially individual service statistics).
                        Sometimes his team needs a kick in the pants, but he tries to lead by
                        example.
Tom Brodie,
                        Tom’s Goals:
Shop Manager            • Keep the cars coming. Tom has to rely on Eddie’s marketing efforts but
                          car count is his make-or-break figure; he focuses on customer service to
“Sometimes I’m so         generate repeat customers.
busy fighting           • Reduce labor percentages without sacrificing customer service. Staffing
alligators that I         is a tricky balance between keeping the shop’s labor costs down while
forget about draining     ensuring employees get enough hours and bay times stay low.
the swamp.”             • Meet or exceed last year’s numbers for this month. The Owner’s sales
                          targets aim for year-on-year increases across the board, but in the current
                          business climate Tom is happy simply meeting last year’s numbers.

                                                                                     Persona copyright ISI, Inc.
Goal-Directed Design
          Cooper’s methodology drives product definition
          through persona goals.


          Goals have three flavors:
          • End goals
          • Experience goals
          • Life goals



Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Power of human faces
        We respond viscerally to the
        human face in ways that we do
        not respond to other images.




                                                                            Persona copyright ISI, Inc.

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Fluffy
Expensive
Don’t Design Products
Cramp My Style
                        Expensive
Today vs. Innovation
Helpful Tips
Personas are expensive!




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
The cost of creating personas
        The real questions to ask are:
       1.Is it worth interviewing and observing users as
         part of product research?
       2.How much will research in the field cost?
       3.What are viable alternatives?




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Is it worth spending time with users?
        Whether you create personas or not, spending
        time with users:
        • reveals current behaviors and priorities
        • challenges—or validates—internal assumptions




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
How much does research cost?
        Considerations include:
        • Numbers of participants
        • Research techniques
        • Travel
        • Other expenses




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
How long does persona creation
   take?
        After identifying your key findings, it should take
        a few days to create a robust set of personas.


                                      Field Research      Analysis
                                  {
                                  {
                                        Approximately equal duration




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008          Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
What cost not doing research?
        The cost really depends on how good a guesser
        you are...




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
What are our alternatives?
        Try to establish a shared understanding of users
        with your product development team




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Provisional personas
        “Provisional” personas are a
        way to capture & communicate
        shared assumptions about users
        so everyone stays on the same
        page.

                                                             Mark
                                                             40s
                                                             Financial analyst




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Fluffy
Expensive
Don’t Design
Products               Don’t Design Products
Cramp My Style
Today vs. Innovation
Helpful Tips
Personas don’t design my product
   for me
        We understand our
        users.

        Now what?




                                                                  Persona and research copyright ISI, Inc.

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Personas aren’t actionable
        Personas are not actionable by themselves.


        Now what?




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Personas are a design tool
        Personas don’t design products; designers do!


        Personas help us create scenarios


        Personas help us communicate design solutions




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
April 10, 2008


   Personas support scenario-based                        Introduction
                                                          This document contains Usage Scenarios along with their derived Product Requirements,
                                                          and includes additional detail on the Data Elements of the Dashboard system. This revision


   approach to design
                                                          reflects the outcome of discussions held at a check-in meeting on April 10th attended by
                                                          Liz, Wayne, Michael, Mark and Bill. Key scenarios were agreed-upon by the team, while
                                                          some areas were simplified (see strikethrough) and other items were identified for further
                                                          investigation.




        Principally, we
                                                                        VIEW SHOP STATUS
                                                                        PERSONA: Tom (Primary), Manager


        create personas                                                 Context of use: 10:30 am Tuesday at Eddie’s quick-lube shop #3



        so that we can                                                         Key Scenario                            Product Requirement

        build realistic,                                   Tom logs in to his Dashboard, where he has access to
                                                           Manager-level information.
                                                                                                                  Log-in controls
                                                                                                                  Role-based app display logic

        meaningful                                         He reviews today’s ticket average, in reference to
                                                           the month’s target.
                                                                                                                  Date
                                                                                                                  Ticket average: today; vs. target

        scenarios                                          He looks at the monthly running total for car count.   Car count: month-to-date; vs.
                                                                                                                  target

                                                           Today’s car count is low because cars haven’t really   Shop view: Car count, today
                                                           started rolling in yet. Maybe the rain will clear up   Traffic
                                                           and bring people in?                                   Time
                                                                                                                  Weather

                                                           Tom wonders if other stores are also seeing lower      Chain view: Car count, today
                                                           volume today, perhaps due to the weather.

                                                           Tom wonders how impacted his manager’s bonus will      Ticket average, car count: year-
                                                           be this month if the pace remains slow. How’d things   on-year basis
                                                           fare last year?                                        Future: bonus tracking feature

                                                           Later...



                                                                                                                                Scenario copyright 9 Inc.
                                                                                                                                           Page 1 of
                                                                                                                                                     ISI,

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008                                               Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Communicate reason
        Expressing product imperatives using personas
        in scenarios allows for clear prioritization of
        product requirements.


        Scenarios with personas:
        • maintain context
        • make requirements traceable
        • represent a persuasive communication

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Personas as validation
        They minimize risk by letting you know whether
        your design solutions will be appropriate,
        disruptive, and/or useful.


        The same or similar insights can be had from
        usability testing.




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Fluffy
Expensive
Don’t Design Products
Cramp My Style
                        Cramp My Style
Today vs. Innovation
Helpful Tips
Personas cramp my style!




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Genius design
        I just want to design what I like. I know what’s
        best.




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Are you a genius? A doctor?
        Really ask yourself…are you representative of
        the entire market you are trying to reach?




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Maybe you’re just making it up
        Major buzz-kill time...




                                                              The Simpsons were created by Matt Groening

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Fluffy
Expensive
Don’t Design Products
Cramp My Style          Today vs. Innovation
Today vs.
Innovation
Helpful Tips
How are personas going to help me
   innovate?
        Could personas—which are based on today’s users
        —help me design the next iPod?




                                                               iPod/iPod Touch are property of Apple, Inc.

Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Uncover contextual implications
        Personas describe people’s current behaviors in
        the context of their lives.


         Understanding their context reveals design
         opportunities and potential for disruption.


                                            Optimize flow


Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008     Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
PhotoBook example from Cooper U
        Cooper conducted design
        research for the
        PhotoBook in 2002, and
        the research & personas
        had been used in Cooper
        U for almost six years.

                                                            Real people are
        It felt sort of dated,                                 consistent.
        but...                                            Technology solutions
                                                          match or don’t match
                                                              their world.
Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008        Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Personas increase shared team
   understanding
        Personas facilitate productive brainstorming for
        teams comprising various disciplines.




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Art within constraints
        Design is not art—it happens within constraints.


        Personas help to channel your creativity.




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Fluffy
Expensive
Don’t Design Products
Cramp My Style
                        Helpful Tips
Today vs. Innovation
Helpful Tips
Writing good descriptions
      • Don’t focus on controversial
        tomorrows

      • Don’t give them funny names


                                                            “Jo-Jo Smoker”




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Writing good descriptions
        • Make a list of all of the attributes your team
          described for the persona
        • Group the attributes under headers
        • Craft paragraphs that tie the attributes
          together




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Keep them data-driven
        • Conduct design research in the field with users

        • Screen persona goals for applicability to
          product design




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Be as informal as needed
        • If the word “Personas” gets peoples’ backs up,
          then why not rename them?


        • If they’re used primarily for your design work,
          don’t make output extremely formal




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Work quickly
        • Use lightweight recording methods in the field

        • After user research, analyze findings and
          create personas as quickly as possible




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Work transparently
        • Make the process transparent to your
          colleagues


        • Don’t introduce your personas in a vacuum




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Maximize usefulness of sets
        • Show how the persona set describes a range of
          user behaviors

        • Embody context of entire product/service
          workflow involving separate individuals




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Adjustable documentation
        • Create several weights of persona descriptions
          to share in different contexts




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Don’t stop with descriptions
        • Use personas as a tool within a scenario-based
            approach to interaction design




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Times not to use personas
        •    Product space and target users are extremely
             well understood by you and all of your decision
             makers
        •    You’re designing for a very narrow group of
             users to which you have direct & easy access
        •    Your users are also your stakeholders




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Conclusion
A useful tool
        Personas are a tool. A useful hammer, but not
        everything is a nail....


        Personas are a means to an end. They are not
        an end in and of themselves.




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008   Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
Thank you!

         Steve can be reached at:                         Liz can be reached at:

               steve@cooper.com                              liz@devise.com




Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008          Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!

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Death To Personas! Long Live Personas!

  • 1. Death to Personas! Long Live Personas! Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde Catalyze, July 23, 2008
  • 2. Your Presenters Steve Calde Liz Bacon 1992-1994 Rational Software 1998-1999 dba MuseAll 1994-1998 GW Associates, Inc. 1999-2002 Cooper 1998-today Cooper 2002-2007 St. Jude Medical 2007-today Devise + Vice-President, IxDA Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 3. Our talk today covers: Reasons to dismiss personas—and why those reasons might be missing the point Tips for successfully using personas Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 4. Not all good ideas are made to last Jay Adachi, Call Center Agent Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 5. What’s a persona? Profile of an archetypal user Represents the needs of many Based on research Tom Brodie, Shop Manager Tom’s Goals: • Keep the cars coming. “Sometimes I’m so busy fighting • Reduce labor percentages without alligators that I sacrificing customer service. forget about draining • Meet or exceed last year’s numbers for the swamp.” this month. Persona copyright ISI, Inc. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 6. Origins of personas Invented at Cooper Publicized in Alan Cooper’s “The Inmates are Running the Asylum” (SAMS, 1999) Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 7. What some people are saying about personas “Forget about personas.” - Don Norman “We don’t use personas. We use ourselves.” - 37signals “What is actionable about a persona?” - Robert Hoekman Jr “Personas are user-centered bullshit.” - Steve Portigal Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 8. The question: Do we really need to create personas to design fantastic, innovative, user-centered solutions? Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 9. The question: Do we really need to create personas to design fantastic, innovative, user-centered solutions? Of course not! Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 10. The question: Do we really need to create personas to design fantastic, innovative, user-centered solutions? Of course not! But they sure can help... Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 11. Why people hate personas • Personas are fluffy! • Personas are expensive! • Personas don’t design my product for me; they aren’t actionable • Personas really cramp my style; I just want to design what I like • How is understanding today’s users going to help me innovate a new product? Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 12. Fluffy Expensive Don’t Design Products Cramp My Style Fluffy Today vs. Innovation Helpful Tips
  • 13. Personas are fluffy! Barbie® is a property of Mattel, Inc. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 14. Bad personas are fluffy “Bad” personas are fluffy. And yes, fluffy personas aren’t helpful for doing design or making decisions. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 15. Fluffy personas aren’t really personas Demographic info, photographs, and representative quotes are just small parts of a persona description. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 16. Personas are based on real data “Real” personas are not: • Made up • Job roles • Statistical averages • Based on one person • Use case actors • Market segments Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 17. Traceable details By definition (well, ours at least) personas are based on data that design researchers heard or observed firsthand. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 18. Good descriptions Personas should capture: • Attitudes • Work or activity flows • Environmental factors • Skill level • Current frustrations • Goals Let’s read a persona description... Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 19. Tom Brodie Tom has 8 years of experience in lube shop operations. He’s married with two young kids, and his wife jokes that the last time his hands were completely free of grease was on his honeymoon 5 years ago. At the shop he manages, Tom constantly puts out little fires. He works on the floor most of the day, trying to be everywhere at the same time although he prefers to act as greeter and cashier. Most shop trends get measured on a monthly basis, since Tom has to meet sales targets defined by the owner, Eddie, in order to get his manager’s bonus. On a daily basis, Tom frequently monitors car counts, ticket average and employee productivity (especially individual service statistics). Sometimes his team needs a kick in the pants, but he tries to lead by example. Tom Brodie, Tom’s Goals: Shop Manager • Keep the cars coming. Tom has to rely on Eddie’s marketing efforts but car count is his make-or-break figure; he focuses on customer service to “Sometimes I’m so generate repeat customers. busy fighting • Reduce labor percentages without sacrificing customer service. Staffing alligators that I is a tricky balance between keeping the shop’s labor costs down while forget about draining ensuring employees get enough hours and bay times stay low. the swamp.” • Meet or exceed last year’s numbers for this month. The Owner’s sales targets aim for year-on-year increases across the board, but in the current business climate Tom is happy simply meeting last year’s numbers. Persona copyright ISI, Inc.
  • 20. Goal-Directed Design Cooper’s methodology drives product definition through persona goals. Goals have three flavors: • End goals • Experience goals • Life goals Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 21. Power of human faces We respond viscerally to the human face in ways that we do not respond to other images. Persona copyright ISI, Inc. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 22. Fluffy Expensive Don’t Design Products Cramp My Style Expensive Today vs. Innovation Helpful Tips
  • 23. Personas are expensive! Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 24. The cost of creating personas The real questions to ask are: 1.Is it worth interviewing and observing users as part of product research? 2.How much will research in the field cost? 3.What are viable alternatives? Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 25. Is it worth spending time with users? Whether you create personas or not, spending time with users: • reveals current behaviors and priorities • challenges—or validates—internal assumptions Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 26. How much does research cost? Considerations include: • Numbers of participants • Research techniques • Travel • Other expenses Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 27. How long does persona creation take? After identifying your key findings, it should take a few days to create a robust set of personas. Field Research Analysis { { Approximately equal duration Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 28. What cost not doing research? The cost really depends on how good a guesser you are... Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 29. What are our alternatives? Try to establish a shared understanding of users with your product development team Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 30. Provisional personas “Provisional” personas are a way to capture & communicate shared assumptions about users so everyone stays on the same page. Mark 40s Financial analyst Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 31. Fluffy Expensive Don’t Design Products Don’t Design Products Cramp My Style Today vs. Innovation Helpful Tips
  • 32. Personas don’t design my product for me We understand our users. Now what? Persona and research copyright ISI, Inc. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 33. Personas aren’t actionable Personas are not actionable by themselves. Now what? Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 34. Personas are a design tool Personas don’t design products; designers do! Personas help us create scenarios Personas help us communicate design solutions Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 35. April 10, 2008 Personas support scenario-based Introduction This document contains Usage Scenarios along with their derived Product Requirements, and includes additional detail on the Data Elements of the Dashboard system. This revision approach to design reflects the outcome of discussions held at a check-in meeting on April 10th attended by Liz, Wayne, Michael, Mark and Bill. Key scenarios were agreed-upon by the team, while some areas were simplified (see strikethrough) and other items were identified for further investigation. Principally, we VIEW SHOP STATUS PERSONA: Tom (Primary), Manager create personas Context of use: 10:30 am Tuesday at Eddie’s quick-lube shop #3 so that we can Key Scenario Product Requirement build realistic, Tom logs in to his Dashboard, where he has access to Manager-level information. Log-in controls Role-based app display logic meaningful He reviews today’s ticket average, in reference to the month’s target. Date Ticket average: today; vs. target scenarios He looks at the monthly running total for car count. Car count: month-to-date; vs. target Today’s car count is low because cars haven’t really Shop view: Car count, today started rolling in yet. Maybe the rain will clear up Traffic and bring people in? Time Weather Tom wonders if other stores are also seeing lower Chain view: Car count, today volume today, perhaps due to the weather. Tom wonders how impacted his manager’s bonus will Ticket average, car count: year- be this month if the pace remains slow. How’d things on-year basis fare last year? Future: bonus tracking feature Later... Scenario copyright 9 Inc. Page 1 of ISI, Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 36. Communicate reason Expressing product imperatives using personas in scenarios allows for clear prioritization of product requirements. Scenarios with personas: • maintain context • make requirements traceable • represent a persuasive communication Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 37. Personas as validation They minimize risk by letting you know whether your design solutions will be appropriate, disruptive, and/or useful. The same or similar insights can be had from usability testing. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 38. Fluffy Expensive Don’t Design Products Cramp My Style Cramp My Style Today vs. Innovation Helpful Tips
  • 39. Personas cramp my style! Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 40. Genius design I just want to design what I like. I know what’s best. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 41. Are you a genius? A doctor? Really ask yourself…are you representative of the entire market you are trying to reach? Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 42. Maybe you’re just making it up Major buzz-kill time... The Simpsons were created by Matt Groening Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 43. Fluffy Expensive Don’t Design Products Cramp My Style Today vs. Innovation Today vs. Innovation Helpful Tips
  • 44. How are personas going to help me innovate? Could personas—which are based on today’s users —help me design the next iPod? iPod/iPod Touch are property of Apple, Inc. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 45. Uncover contextual implications Personas describe people’s current behaviors in the context of their lives. Understanding their context reveals design opportunities and potential for disruption. Optimize flow Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 46. PhotoBook example from Cooper U Cooper conducted design research for the PhotoBook in 2002, and the research & personas had been used in Cooper U for almost six years. Real people are It felt sort of dated, consistent. but... Technology solutions match or don’t match their world. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 47. Personas increase shared team understanding Personas facilitate productive brainstorming for teams comprising various disciplines. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 48. Art within constraints Design is not art—it happens within constraints. Personas help to channel your creativity. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 49. Fluffy Expensive Don’t Design Products Cramp My Style Helpful Tips Today vs. Innovation Helpful Tips
  • 50. Writing good descriptions • Don’t focus on controversial tomorrows • Don’t give them funny names “Jo-Jo Smoker” Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 51. Writing good descriptions • Make a list of all of the attributes your team described for the persona • Group the attributes under headers • Craft paragraphs that tie the attributes together Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 52. Keep them data-driven • Conduct design research in the field with users • Screen persona goals for applicability to product design Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 53. Be as informal as needed • If the word “Personas” gets peoples’ backs up, then why not rename them? • If they’re used primarily for your design work, don’t make output extremely formal Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 54. Work quickly • Use lightweight recording methods in the field • After user research, analyze findings and create personas as quickly as possible Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 55. Work transparently • Make the process transparent to your colleagues • Don’t introduce your personas in a vacuum Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 56. Maximize usefulness of sets • Show how the persona set describes a range of user behaviors • Embody context of entire product/service workflow involving separate individuals Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 57. Adjustable documentation • Create several weights of persona descriptions to share in different contexts Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 58. Don’t stop with descriptions • Use personas as a tool within a scenario-based approach to interaction design Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 59. Times not to use personas • Product space and target users are extremely well understood by you and all of your decision makers • You’re designing for a very narrow group of users to which you have direct & easy access • Your users are also your stakeholders Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 61. A useful tool Personas are a tool. A useful hammer, but not everything is a nail.... Personas are a means to an end. They are not an end in and of themselves. Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!
  • 62. Thank you! Steve can be reached at: Liz can be reached at: steve@cooper.com liz@devise.com Elizabeth Bacon & Steve Calde • Catalyze, July 23, 2008 Death to Personas! Long Live Personas!