- What good is a dev team if they don't know what to build?
- What good is a design team if they don't know who will use the product?
- What good is research if no one ever learns from it?
As with all lean UX teams, it is hard enough to find time and resources to conduct meaningful research projects, let alone to then socialize that research properly. And furthermore, even a great research report (need an example?) is missing the mark if it is too long or technical to effectively communicate what we learned. What is a UX design leader to do?
Personas are a good place to start. When user persona documents are motivated by the desire to share empirical insights (and not, say, by the desire to have a slick sales asset, or convince people the market segment you invented sounds reasonable), they are a low-cost and incredibly sticky way to get the people around you to start thinking about the users.
In this case, we actually already had tons of qualitative and quantitative data to work with. Recent studies taken on by the data sciences and content strategy teams had produced extensive notes from focus groups, contextual inquiry, analytics data, and consumer surveys.
I organized a cross-department team and structured some analysis workshops. We poured through the data looking for common structural components. We identified patterns that then fit those structures, drafted abstract user types, and then validated them with SMEs to see if we were on the right track.
Our structural data components came to life as "Top Tasks" and "Painpoints" and "Wellness Stories." We put faces and catch-phrases to the patterns we had found, and all of a sudden, the organization had six new celebrities.
The documents were a huge success. You know personas are working when you hear a software architect you don't regularly work with say, "Oh, that might be a problem for Lost Luke."
- Data Analysis
- Persona Content
- Persona Design Template
- Persona "Reveal" Presentation
The excerpts below are representative of the personas I worked on across major initiatives of the product portfolio. Get in touch if you'd like to hear more about this project.