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The actual methodology to be used is still being settled.

Previous methodology notes

Liz Blanchard's past experience with building Personas:

Here is an overview of the steps we took:
  1. Built a cross-functional team including User Experience Designers, Software Testers, Documentation Specialists, Product Managers, Developers.
  2. Gave an overview to the team on what Personas are, how they are used, how we will construct them.
  3. Broke out into small teams to break down some of the preparation tasks.
  4. Prepared a screener to run by potential interview candidates.
  5. Prepared a set of interview questions and reviewed with the entire team.
  6. Performed a few mock interviews to practice.
  7. Visited 20 interviewees and asked the same interview questions to all while taking a lot of notes.
  8. 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)
  9. Identified clusters of interviewees responses.
  10. Created persona writeups based on these clusters keeping the folks that we interviewed in mind.
  11. Finalized persona designs including a short write up on the persona and included a photo, Key Attributes, and Behavioral Drivers.
  12. Printed large versions to post around the office, small 5x7 cards on keyrings for the team to keep and reference.
A few lessons learned:
  1. 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.
  2. 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 :)
  3. 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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