Design with Personas: A Lean Approach by Davide Casali #wcsf14

Notes from a talk at the 2014 WordCamp in San Francisco on Design with Personas: A Lean Approach* by Davide Casali. @folletto (I missed the first few minutes of the talk.)
  • Just Enough Research by Erika HallDesigners and developers are thinking of different users
  • We need to think of clearly spelled out users we design for
  • Broad set of users is worst than narrow set
  • The personas perspective is one of the tools
  • Personas: how users behave
  • Market segment/share is not about personas: The former is about demographics. Doesn’t tell about whys and behaviors.
  • Core elements of personas: behavior, goal and why
  • See the big picture: the context beyond your service
  • E.g. Dating site: my site is an enabler to what users want to achieve
  • Personas are not deliverables
  • Deliverables are not important. The knowledge you get from the data is
  • Personas = data synthesis
  • Keep researching: you need to go back to refine it.
  • Research: personas are not invented: data collection, data clustering, personas shaping, personas weights (which ones, what percentage you want: 90% of persona A, and make persona b larger if that’s your target)
  • You need to step back and see the data
  • But they are not real” (fictional entities). If you define them well, they can predict what’s needed.
  • Look at data point that matches with personas
  • Use personas to prioritize and plan and then do ticket triage
  • Posts: atomized data points. E.g. title is one
  • Pages one for each persona, using shortcodes
  • Over time, as you keep it up-to-date, you get new data and with shortcodes it gets updated. It becomes easily searchable.
  • Book recommended: Just Enough Research by Erika Hall 
  • * Official description:
    • Personas at a first sight seem just a simple deliverable, but in reality whey are a tool that can be easily misunderstood, leading to the usual “I’ve tried using personas but it didn’t work”.
      Personas are a form of synthesis and as such they lead as much value as much we can embed them in the existing discussions, design and development. In this talk we are going to see how personas can be built in a lean approach, how to make them visible, and how they can be used in various stages of a product evolution.
      We are also going to see a real case scenario: the WordPress.com personas work, currently in progress.

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