The actual methodology to be used is still being settled.
Previous methodology notes
Liz Blanchard's past experience with building Personas:
- In a past life, I used Jared Spool's guide on "How to build robust Personas in 30 days":
- This does require a subscription to UIE, but it was a great resource to use as I was building personas for the first time.
Here is an overview of the steps we took:
- Built a cross-functional team including User Experience Designers, Software Testers, Documentation Specialists, Product Managers, Developers.
- Gave an overview to the team on what Personas are, how they are used, how we will construct them.
- Broke out into small teams to break down some of the preparation tasks.
- Prepared a screener to run by potential interview candidates.
- Prepared a set of interview questions and reviewed with the entire team.
- Performed a few mock interviews to practice.
- Visited 20 interviewees and asked the same interview questions to all while taking a lot of notes.
- Created a scale of answers for each question and mapped all 20 participants back to scale. (We used colored sticky notes to differentiate between all participants)
- Identified clusters of interviewees responses.
- Created persona writeups based on these clusters keeping the folks that we interviewed in mind.
- Finalized persona designs including a short write up on the persona and included a photo, Key Attributes, and Behavioral Drivers.
- Printed large versions to post around the office, small 5x7 cards on keyrings for the team to keep and reference.
A few lessons learned:
- Practicing and being on the same page about the questionaire with anyone who is interviewing is important. Some questions can be interpreted a certain way and asking the same question makes sure the data maps to the same scaled in the end.
- Jared claimed that this could be a part-time (~25%) effort for a team over 30 days. I found it to take up more like 75% of my time and more like a few months. Maybe if it was my 2nd or 3rd time running this effort it would have been a bit quicker, but it's a lot of work :)
- Someone mentioned this in our kickoff meeting, but I completely agree that having the people who will be consuming these personas (or at least some) involved in this process of building the personas is a huge step towards them buying in to using the personas.
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