MIMA – Getting from Data to Design: Truly Practical Methods for Using Personas Every Day

Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product DesignMIMA educational event  was as spectacular as usual. This time the presenter, Tamara Adlin, not only delivered her valuable message, but also did it in an engaging manner, with amusing stories and hilarious (but very true) analogies.

I have all intentions to read The Persona Lifecycle : Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design – the book that the speaker co-authored.

What are personas?  Personas are translators and focusers. Personas help to communicate the vision of the executive team.

Know thy user.

When you are not customer focused:

  • too many different and unconnected sites
  • your company’s organizational structure shows on your web site (corporate underpants)
  • “It has to be on the home page!” Hippo rules – by Avinash Kaushik
  • Significant amount of information, no calls to actions

Data is not always usable!

Demographic data is useful to find out where to advertise
Personas help design products. You have a person and his goals. Personas used for design, not for targeting.

A precise persona aligns the whole team (IT, creative, etc. clearly understand who is the audience).

Often, personas are created but not used.
Persona’s life cycle:

  1. Family planning (what problems are you trying to solve; finding the data)
  2. Conception and gestation (turn data into personas)
  3. Birth and maturation (persona is introduced into the organization via an internal campaign)
  4. Adulthood (personas do their jobs)
  5. Achievement and retirement (using and reusing personas)

Personas help prioritize business efforts:
– based on persona’s needs
– based on business needs

Competitor review is not about collecting of features, but how the persona can satisfy his or her needs.

Important: create personas, and then ask the executive team to prioritize them. “ You have 100 points, give personas points based on the business objective.”  The prioritization is done individually, and then shared on the white board; usually, no two persons have the same number.

How to prioritize: “If we do the next successful release, which persona should be happy?”
At the feature meeting: “Would the most important persona like this feature?”

Then, features are evaluated how beneficial they are and how difficult are they to build. 

Design Map:
From the persona’s point of view what should happen?  Person wants: See x, find y, do z. Then, build it.

What you can do tomorrow?

  • Create ad-hoc personas (what are personas trying to do?)
  • Prioritize these personas
  • Review you site and competitor sites from the point of view of these personas

Start tiny! 

Location and food was great as usually.


One thought on “MIMA – Getting from Data to Design: Truly Practical Methods for Using Personas Every Day

  1. Pingback: Bookmarks about Personas

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