Recently I suggested on my Blog, that the user role needs to be brought to life by imaging real people who actually represent people in these roles. Look at the report from ABC about IDEO. They illustrate realistically how a design team tries to find out which people use which shopping cart and above all, how they actually use a shopping cart. The IDEO team obviously uses the element of persona to adapt their product to their customer’s needs.
Naturally only a few product development teams are actually constructed like an IDEO team, but which elements that they use can we also learn from? Here are my 10 tips:
- Involve the entire team. Why not? We all assess people in ‘real’ life differently. Everyone on a Scrum team should help to create the persona. Everyone has ideas and by using all of these ideas our personas become more animated and realistic.
- Create the personas together using flipcharts and actual pictures of real people or cut pictures out of magazines.
- In the beginning implement as many details as possible, you can limit the information again later.
- Find out, what goals this persona pursues.
- What usability needs does this persona have?
- What special circumstances does this person deal with?
- What kind of job does this person have?
- in what context does this persona use your product?
- After compiling all of this together, go out and test your ideas.
- Then refine your persona.
Always ask: How would the persona see the feature you are developing or are having developed?