Know Your Audience - Bring Your Personas to Life! | Nikki Roda | Skillshare

Know Your Audience - Bring Your Personas to Life!

Nikki Roda, Mindful Designer

Know Your Audience - Bring Your Personas to Life!

Nikki Roda, Mindful Designer

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6 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Welcome & Introduction

    • 2. Personas Overview

    • 3. Constructing Personas

    • 4. Class Project & Design Challenge

    • 5. Breathing Life Into Your Personas (FAQ)

    • 6. Wrap up & Review

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About This Class

User Personas - high-level descriptions of your target audience's needs and challenges - are becoming mainstays for software product teams. But like many other requirements documentation, they can often feel flat, overly generic, and nearly useless once development has actually begun. In becoming “just another form to fill out,” your User Personas have lost connection with their original purpose: to help product teams build connection and empathy with your primary customer base, and in doing so provide the grounding basis for fast and deliberate decision making.

In this course, you'll learn to think of your Personas as living documentation both of your target audience as well as the evolving shape of your product. In your class project, you’ll be asked to create a set of personas for a health and wellness app you’re going to re-design. I'll be weaving this same design challenge through out all of my courses on the UX design process so that you can follow this redesign from user research to prototyping:  not only can you take part in kicking off your own design project, but you’ll walk away with a high-quality UX artifact to use in your portfolio.

Reinject some life into your User Personas to help build empathy and engagement for your users across your product teams.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nikki Roda

Mindful Designer


I am an interaction designer who is interested solving tough usability problems by drawing on my background in research, data science, and user experience design. I revel in problems that challenge me to present complicated information, systems or process in a user-friendly way. I've had the pleasure of designing bespoke software solutions for government agencies, global developmental aid organizations, and large investment banks. I'm a passionate advocate for expanding data literacy and data-driven design within organizations to help inform better decision making.

I deeply believe that the skills I've developed in software development can be applied to ANY creative endeavor where human understanding is involved: spaces, processes, collaborations, books, films, courses, etc. I li... See full profile

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1. Welcome & Introduction: Hello. I'm Gigi Rueda, founder of the Design Consultancy. Did use designs. I'll be your instructor for this course. They're out my career designing software solutions for Fortune 500 companies, startups, government organizations and nonprofits. Thes very experiences have taught me quite a lot about doing field work under seemingly impossible constraints and how to deliver a solution of best supports when user he's fundamentally. I believe that the information design process of research, design, build and repeat or injury can be applied to the design of anything from software to presentations to newsletters, to services to space is really anything where humans are required to make sense of information. I believe that if you understand your products value to your target audience, which well grounded design process can provide, you are well on your way to adding real value as a designer to anyone you work for. I've shared these technical skills and war and countless presentations. Now I'm sharing them with you when I'm not teaching him traveling the world, working on redesigning with the concept of work means to me, I invite you to follow me profile, which includes the least of my professional background when I'm up to these days in this course will be discussing for someone's UX artifact and common piece of product documentation in general personas. Aaron Overview of your target user group As a composite person, that can be your team's focus on essentials of what they're building and why in a building . Well, you'll be learning in this course is important because personas tend to get a pretty bad rap. I think that's mostly because they're poorly understood. Tool, in my opinion, aren't always used correctly. They made feel like just another piece of required documentation to get through. But these are living documents, meaning they should be updated as your understanding of the target audience or the problems faced changes, keeping you and your team from making disastrous assumptions. Thinking of personas is the perfect tool to help you. Is the user experience professional? Keep your team aligned towards the users goal and engage with the problem they're trying to . Self personas can therefore be your best friend. If you left him in, this course will be discussing the who what, where, when and wise persons who do personas represent what goes into a good person, where do you get good information from when in the design process. Do you use for some this? Why should you keep them updated By the end of this course, you should feel confident about effectively using your organizations existing personas, as well as building new ones from scratch. For your class project, you'll be creating at least two personas for health and wellness. Every design part of a larger design process you can use to create a showpiece for you, You X portfolio. I'll be leaving a specific design challenge into all of the course projects for all of my classes so you can continue to work with the same project as we move through the whole design process, from user research to requirements gathering through to sketching. In the end, each well crafted design artifact should be able to stand on its own, but collectively they'll be able to help you showcase of rage of UX skills. As you participate in the course, please feel free to share your project Progress in the Project gallery. I'd love to see how you're all tackling the class project, and I'm happy to work with you as you move through the course material. Please also feel free to share your questions. Before, um, I'm having Inter's best I can. You'll be doing everyone else a huge favor by helping and sharing were all on the same page about the course content. Looking forward to working with all of you. And I hope you enjoy this course. Remember, everything could be designed. 2. Personas Overview: in this video, we'll discuss some of the basic principles of what personas they're used for. We'll be touching upon some of those five W's of personas who do personas represent what goes into a good persona. When in the design process do you use for sums, we'll talk more about the mechanics of building your persona and some of the pitfalls of personas and upcoming videos to start. I want you to imagine that you and a group of your friends just launched a new startup to build an app that helps users right pre canned update messages to their families rather than having to take the time to reach out regularly or even think of original composition. Artificial intelligence would come through a user's social media feed to pull relevant and PG rated content to be edited into a weekly digest for parental units and other family members. Thank you to the incredible Jessica James for this app idea. Oh, you're pumped because you have this great idea with slip tech and you think everyone is going to want to use it. You cannot wait for this to go viral, and as the teens designer, you're responsible for the work flow through the app and the look and feel of the design aesthetic. But the team can't seem to come to any decisions about your design direction. Two of the founders are really at odds, and while both of their positions make sense, it isn't clear what the right way to go is. There's a lot of pressure from your VC to deliver quickly, and the random feedback you've been getting around the office is inconclusive. How do you defend your design decisions? How do you offer feedback when the founders fixated on a specific color design element or feature? Because he thinks it makes sense? How do you prevent scope creep when solutions start chasing after problems rather than vice versa? Hopefully, you've done a lot of user research and market analysis before launching, but you need something to synthesize that information into bite size and manageable pieces for your time constraint team. We need to find a way to represent the user's voice when they can't be in the room is you're making decisions personas. They're here to help you out. Personas are personifications of user data. They present composites of user models, a specific human beings. Maybe Europe supports the needs of different and distinct user groups with separate needs, goals or pain points. A great example of that would be a type of administrative software that might have two types of users and employees versus, say, a manager who might be using the same piece of software but fundamentally have different task they're trying to accomplish. The purpose of personas is to help your team focus on the essentials of what they're building and why they're building it because they're composite or some reviews a research. They're great for communicating your users needs and goals throughout the organization by being succinct, clear and importantly as personifications. They can help build greater empathy and can be a silent partner and creating consensus throughout the organization, helping everyone be more focused. But how exactly do they do that? Let's go back to her Kick ass new ab Hi, Mom, and pull out one of our target personas Meet Sherry Daily Everyone. She is a youngish, up and coming, ambitious professional who loves what she does, but it's finding it difficult to balance her heavy work schedule with keeping in touch with her family and friends. She's fed up with social media, which purports to be the best way to keep in touch because it's so impersonal. Plus, her grandparent's haven't quite embraced the digital age, meaning they only got email accounts a few months ago. Sound like anyone you know? She does her best, and we think that hi Mom could really help her out. But to better understand where our app might fit into her day today, we need to know a little bit more about our life. Sherry starts her day early, getting up at 5:30 a.m. To get some exercise in before work. Since she has regular stand up meetings with her engineering team of breakfast every day, this is her only real need. Time. Before the workday starts, she lives and breathes her marketing job. She's good at it, and she enjoys all the traveling, all the people she gets to meet and generally getting stuff done. But while so much of her work life is spent online and on social media, she confined a challenging to make time to stay connected to her family. Back on the East Coast, she wants to stay in touch, but between being sick of her feeds. After a day in the office to dealing with the time difference, she wishes she could find ways to stay more connected. It may feel cheesy, too, right out of fictitious day, but there are details embedded in the story that give us a sense for when and how Sherry might use are up. She sounds like she's on the go a lot between meetings and Oliver business travel. Maybe we can assume, but hopefully we have research to back this up that she would prefer a mobile app experience over desktop. She also sounds pretty busy and has a lot of contact switching in her day. She's a prime candidate for information overload. Again, we can assume the pre candor auto responses the require less of her input to compose might also be a feature she'd be interested in. I can hear you may be pointing out that, well, wouldn't everyone who uses this app want that same future? And again, this is the point of personas to help disentangle that by looking at each personas individual responsibilities. What tasks are they trying to accomplish? What needs to get done? And Sherri's case? We've listed out responsibilities both for her work and personal life. Why? Because she's explicitly told us that these tasks can feel like they're in conflict with one another to better design for her. We want to take her whole contest into consideration. Sherry was responsible for doing a lot of communicating, just not with a family that IHS. She has to represent the corporate values of our organization and is pretty sharp when it comes to preparing messages for her customer base. But it looks like she struggles to keep her less tech literate family in the loop. It seems that the onus is on her to do the reaching out. Plus, she wants to share. But in a way that doesn't trigger a lecture. She's trying to be careful about not upsetting her parents. Sounds legit. So if this is what she feels responsible for, what's your wish list? What does she want to be able to dio? What is she trying to achieve that takes us to her goals? Or I like to think of this is a wish list. These are different than responsibilities, which are more like tasks and may sound like I'm splitting hairs. But remember, we're trying to synthesize vast quantities of user data with these personas goals, then act more like her desires list. They give us clues as to how we can make her life better. In Sherri's case, we can see their goals are about improving the quality of her connections. Interestingly, it isn't specified whether this is just with her family or with their clients as well. Notice some of the language that was used to describe Sherry's goals. It sounds like she could use some help with all of the distractions whose inundated with in her work and personal life she needs help remembering what she's done in a week. She wants to find more time to focus on the relationships she cares about. She wants to clear the noise out of her mind. With each section of the persona we've gone through, we're getting more of a sense of who Sherry is, and now we come to my favorite part of any persona document and frankly, the one I'm liable to look at first. The users pay points. None of this should feel like it's coming out of left field. The users pain points are going to be related to the conversations we've had in our user interviews about how we can solve their problems. But again, look at the nuance of the language. The pain points are really intended to highlight the users blockers. And while there are some things we won't be able to saw for, like adding more time in the day for Sherry, there are other pain points that we might be able to do something about, like helping connect her toe less tech literate family members be a channel she's more likely to want to use, like texture, chat and keep in mind knowing about pain points that we can't solve for can also help the team out because they show us clear edges on the bounding box of AR apps scope. Maybe we focused more on the modes of communication of media consumption and leave the information overload to her meditation naps all together. This gives us the persona of sherry user composite that can stand in so to speak in our production and design meetings and help our team stay line and focus on who we're building for, you know, are now. She may just be a representative of a group of users you're targeting. But now that you've spent time getting to understand your story, she can take on a life of her own. She becomes the benchmark against which you and your team judge. The quality of your solutions is our app, something Sherry would be excited to use. This video hopefully gives you a better sense of what type of information goes into a good persona and why that information can be useful to keep your team aligned. I'm a user researcher by background and inclination, so I'm going to bias Lee say that user research artifacts like personas belong at every stage of your design process. But hear me out. There can be a lot of value and letting your requirements documentation evolved is your product of balls adapts as your own understanding of the problem space. Or the users need changes, which it invariably will, because you can know everything about the problem until you try to solve it. Adapting and evolving as your product develops is the whole philosophy behind agile development methodologies, product management techniques and user experience design have tried to learn to adapt to changing technical realities, but in my experience have struggled to stay flexible and nimble. Living personas could be away for the product side of the team to stay in sync with the development side. Very technically, personas will be made during the user research phase. After extensive or in some cases, not so extensive user research, we'll go over in more detail how you would convert your user research into a composite persona. But for now, let's just say that it's very important that your persona be drawn from as much really user data as possible. I can't stress this enough without having actual facts that back up your composites. You're likely going to embed tribal knowledge or engineering folklore at best or worse, blind assumptions into your understanding of the users or your problems face if left on validated. Your assumptions concerned you wildly off course. I hope you can understand why I have a research biased by now. Assumptions are products to use worst enemy. They lurk in the back of team members mine and informed decision making. Implicitly personas are just one of the tools at a designer's disposal. To help draw out assumptions, the team is holding about the Target User Group and exposed them to the cleansing power of the light of day. Think of them as that assumption busters. But in order to serve their functions at any stage of the design process, they themselves need to be based on cold, hard facts. I've given you a taste of what personas are and how you might use thumb and an expert video . Ah, present how you would go about building your own. 3. Constructing Personas: in this video, we'll discuss the process for actually gathering the information you need and constructing a persona from our five W's of persona. We'll be looking at where to get good information, a constructor persona and how to transform that information into a usable persona. The process will be using has been adapted from the process first outlined by one of the fathers of modern design, the legendary Alan Cooper. Back in 1998 Cooper published the book The Inmates Are Running the Asylum, which first introduced the use of personas as an interaction design tool. His instructions for how to create a persona remain relevant to this day. Here's Allen's process for building a persona. Identify behavioral variables from interviews, map interview subjects to behavioral variables. Identify significant behavioral patterns across users. Send the size, characteristics and relevant goals. Check for redundancy and completeness. Expand descriptions of attitudes and behaviours Designating persona types. I'm a stickler for completeness, but I feel it goes without saying that the process only really begins after you've done some extensive user research, or at least have some user research to draw upon. Similarly, we might reframe Valens processes, follows what behavior was common across users who, amongst our user set exhibited similar behavior patterns. What distinct user group clusters do we have? How or in what ways are these user groups distinct? Is there any overlap across the use of the group's goals and needs? Can we bring these composites toe life? Who then are separate personas? We've already met Sherry, one of our personas for the high mom app. How did we compile or user research to come up with her? Let's refresh ourselves from the preliminary user research that was used to launch her up. You can see it wasn't very extensive study. As is often the case in startup land, AEA Onley nine interviews with four of those users also conducting diary studies. Demographic doesn't seem particularly diverse, but it looks as if the team had made some assumptions which they were testing with this research that their target audience would be young, busy professionals. There are a number of different ways of codifying findings from user research, which is outside of the scope of this course, but which I plan to discuss in more detail in another course on user research methods. However, for the purposes of identifying and articulating various user models that can be used to create personas. Behavioral mapping where you literally map your users across various spectrums of behavior I find is that he and his way to see how your users are grouped use the categories or dimensions that make most sense. Given the data in your user interviews, the problem space you're trying to saw for and the particular ambitions or have pa theses, your team is trying to test USA's many categories a seem relevant or fit your data. Remember, this is on Lee a tool for you to use to help make sense of your user data for yourself and your stakeholders. There's no perfect a right way to do it. It depends on the situation. You can see that the high mon app. I was curious about how social media, savviness and career ambitions played a role and who might be interested in using their service. Given the nine users we spoke with for the study, we found a range of behaviors across the various dimensions we've chosen. We can sort of see some clusters, but it just isn't really clear what we're seeing. Until we met, which use. Your interviews seem to cluster together users to and users. Three seem to have an awful lot in common not everything but enough that they really stood out from the data we gathered. We particularly noticed them because they were so much more family oriented than the rest of all of our other interviewees. The Hyman that looked like it would be a really good fit for their goals. We use their composite interview data to construct our sherry persona. Seems straightforward enough. Another set of users also stood out as having distinct needs for users 18 and nine. They were labeled a social media phobic not because they didn't know how to use social media, but rather because they were exhausted of having to use it in order to keep in touch with their friends and family. In many ways, looking at them along these behavioral maps, they almost seem like the opposite of the sherry percent type. But what came through in their interviews? Waas. While they didn't feel stressed or pressured to stay connected to love ones, they did self identify as introverts, and we're curious to see if technology could support them in forming deeper connections with friends and family. They're opening their open toe. Having a different offering for how to stay better connected could make them a good fit for Hi mom. So we can think of them as another potential set of target users, distinct from March from Sherry. Our first set, the last possible group to stand out, was represented by User six. She loves social media, really doesn't think of it is a hassle like our other two persona types do. In fact, she seemed toe love connecting on social media. She has like, what, 10,000 followers amazing, And she seems happy and well supported by the existing social media apps out there and doesn't seem stress about connecting with loved ones. So in reality, she's not a good Kennedy for our target audience, which is super helpful to learn. She may be represented in the demographic population were looking to cater to, and she isn't part of the target audience of our app. Knowing that she's out there is helpful because she may crop up from time to time, but identifying her and importantly, identifying how she is different from our target audience. We can stay focused on our real targets. Sheri Juan Revisiting our research hypothesis, it looks like we have some evidence, maybe not necessarily conclusive or exhaustive, but evidence, then the less that high mom's target audience are busy young professionals. We have been able to identify who isn't our target audience, which is almost Justus helpful because it will prevent us from chasing after a customer base that is already well served by other options. So just to wrap up, we've used Alan Cooper's amended process for creating personas by mapping the behaviours identified in our user research to find distinct user groups for a target audience, taking the composite of their experience, responsibilities, goals and paint points into the composite personas. Then help us serve them better. It's helpful to identify both who are user groups are our sherries and wands and who our target audience is not all those just goes out there. Now you have the tools you need to begin building your own personas. Let's take a look at that class project 4. Class Project & Design Challenge: Welcome to the design challenge, folks. My name with this challenge is to ensure. By the end of this process, you have said of high quality UX artifacts. You concluded your And as a result of this course, you'll be able to explain in detail design thinking that went into its creation, the subject of the design challenges to redesign your favorite or maybe least favorite health and wellness up. However you choose to define what gets under your skin, what do you think you could design that? What is it working? I've chosen the subject for a design challenge of class project for several reasons. Importantly, addictive acts are often credited with increasing depression, political polarization and anxiety. I'd like us to demonstrate the ways that technology can be used to improve users lives, not just a truck. Secondly, reworking a design of an app that already exists means there's an existing user base, and hence less user research holds for us to worry about filling during your design process . Also, keep in mind if it's an existing at any U X hiring manager might be interviewing with may or may not have the background and context of the problem you're trying to solve with redesign. Picking the story easier for you to tell also have limited the scope to help the wellness APs because constraints are healthy and hopefully a welcome carded a design process I don't want you worry about boiling the ocean with redesign. Sometimes limiting actions makes the creative juices flow better. And lastly, I want you to excuse something you could really sink your teeth into. Something that your community passion is the fuel will carry through these assignments. Who knows? You may fall so in love with your project. You might just want lunch yourself. Hashtag ship. I just want to add a few words about how to think of creating the product. UX artifacts, in the context of using this design challenge to build your new export in essence, will be doing a mini design process to help design and create your portfolio pieces. This gets pretty met. It's like persona inception layers upon layers of users needs you need to cater to simply put, you're designing the product of your act for your users, and you're designing the artifacts to express your ideas of your process to your primary stakeholders in this case. US. Harmony managers Remember who your audiences each arm recruiters may or may not know anything about the details of what use their experiences and you x hiring managers who, unfortunately, don't have a ton of time to review any applicants. Material in detail. Keep these personas of your UX work in mind. What are they looking to accomplish by reading your materialise? What did the constraints placed on them to prevent them from seeing what an amazing candidate you are, and how can we help support them? Given these constraints, building an engaging US portfolio requires a few things. Communicating a story of your process clearly insistently showcasing the range of skills that your target audience each are. Hiring managers. Care. Highlighting your unique ways. Attack when your problem. How do you think being clear is the most important part of any of your job application materials? But being yourself is a close second. Hiring managers need to know how you with your background, talents and experiences, will fit onto their teeth. The only way to stand out from the pack is to be yourself. Use the constraints of this design challenge to really show off how you think about the problem and what you're trying to solve, keeping in mind the what's and how what you're communicated to meet the needs of the audience you're speaking to. So just a reminder. We'll be using the lens of a redesign of your favorite or least favorite health and wellness app to create your UX artifacts. For this class project, you'll be creating at least two personas to help guide your design decisions for your health and wellness. That best of luck and remember, feel free to reach out if you have any questions about how to navigate the competing needs of your various users. 5. Breathing Life Into Your Personas (FAQ): Now that you've got a chance to try out building your own personas for the class project, I'm sure you've run into some questions or challenges with putting your own personas together. In this video. We'll go over some frequently asked questions and common difficulties that usually crop up around building your own percent. Miss, please feel free to ask additional questions in the forum, and I'll be sure to update this video. This is a commonly asked question by those reasonable skeptics out there who can't possibly believe that per sentence are as helpful as everyone claims they are. And unsurprisingly, I really believe in personas ability to create alignment and focus within product teams. But even across whole organizations, and this isn't flying faith. I have seen personas work in action. A few years back, I was presenting in my company's corporate innovation offsite to an audience of 800 plus engineers from around the globe. These folks not only worked on different product lines, but often times on. Lee saw the problem scope through the lens of that small piece of functionality or widget that they were working on, which was necessary because they made the best damn which it's out there. But in order to make my product pitch across geography, ease, languages, product teams, areas of focus. I used one of our company for Sonus, even the firefighter. I didn't have to give the background. Ethan is pain points or wish lists because, I mean, this was even everyone knew who even Waas and even if they haven't been formally introduced him, hearing the snapshot of the problems my design was intended to solve helped get a room of several 100 people aligned to the problem space. I was working. So yes, they work with the caveat that you need to use them correctly. When your team meets or makes decisions, you're personas can act like silent witnesses to the proceedings. And as the user experience professional, you own giving your persona voice at the table. Yes, you're responsible for representing the user's interests on the product team, and the personas are the documentation held back you up. Bear in mind the pitfalls personas are helping you avoid. Target users can war with each conversation your team has, because team members have implicit assumptions about the target audience that haven't been expressed or validated. Boiling the ocean. There's no focus because you're trying to solve too many problems rather than just the important ones. Self referential design because you end up designing for yourself and how you imagine you would want things design rather than really looking at the context for the target. Audience solutions. Searching for problems and war edge cases when you're planning a feature because somebody might need this some time but not all the time. We can easily get distracted by the coolness of tech or the cleverness of our own solutions . But those shouldn't compete with features your users absolutely need these air stumbling blocks that air that personas are best equipped to help you avoid. Which brings us to another common question or complaint. I've heard. Why do you keep updating them if a person is active? A snapshot of your understanding of your target audience, then as your understanding of the target audience changes which invariably will, as you understand your problem space better. Your personas will likewise have to follow suit. Similarly, stale personas with outdated information will be easy to ignore because they aren't providing real value to the conversation. When your product team starts ignoring the user research, they'll be relying on their assumptions instead. Implicitly making sure the information in your personas is still relevant is the key to avoiding that. Returning to my example of Ethan the Firefighter again, for a moment during my tenure, we noticed that ship was happening in the responsibilities of our heathens. Within our target population, organizations were changing the way they were distributed work across rolls. Some organizations still had Ethan like firefighters putting out all the fires internally. But more and more, we were meeting organizations who had hired Georges one man shops responsible for everything purchasing operations and firefighting. George behave both like Ethan and Ethan manager. He didn't want and need the same things that Ethan did, who was more specialized than George would ever be. And George needed access to more general features and functionality than Ethan would ever be responsible for. This became a problem because our product teams were losing focus on what the users needs. Requirements actually were because there seemed to be so many conflicting statements from our user interviews. Our research team then created a separate George persona in order to explain the competing user research data that was coming in. Separating out this persona allowed our product management and marketing management teams to determine which persona they were going to target for any marketing push, making everyone's work more effective in the end. In this way, we targeted features to Ethan. There were designed for Ethan, and we were able to market features to George that were intended for George. Another important question that comes up is aren't persona is just a way of expressing and codifying derivative stereotypes. I cannot stress enough the importance of having cultural and demographic sensitivity while acting is a user experience professional. So that very honest answer is yes, they can be depending upon how you construct and use them. There are some in the U. S. Community that don't use stock images specifically. For this reason, they don't want to codify stereotypes of what different user types appear to be. It sort of goes without saying that you is the user researcher or designer. Constructing the persona have a lot of responsibility for the message. It is communicating to your internal stakeholders, the ones who will actually be consuming this information, not to pick on pixels, but here the results for banker a lot of stock photos of pretty similar looking people. The results for family aren't super diverse either, But this is the point You have a say in how you represent your target population. Personally, I think having a photo of a real human being is superior to using no photo or, say, having a cartoon stand in as the user. Psychologically, our brains are wired to respond more to actual human faces, and it's easier to form a bond and a relationship in a shorter period of time with an actual human face on a person. So as an alternative to crap stock photos, I've found it helpful to take actual photos of my users in the wild. Not only can it help you in your product team connect with the rial user research that was done, you can get much more of the actual context of where and how your users air using your product. But probably the best way to ensure that your personas don't codify stereotypes to make sure that the population you used for your research was sufficiently diverse. Reviewing the research that was done for the high mom app, I think we can safely say that this wasn't nearly extensive enough nor diverse enough to be conclusive. There's good reason to suspect that this product team is in an echo chamber of similarly like minded users have more likely themselves in their close friends and family. And while in theory that isn't necessarily wrong, it does. It doesn't make for mindful or well thought out design. It just creates more navel gazing products in the world there. So many challenges that this world faces that technology could truly support. But it will require us all of us to be thinking outside of the box. And the best way to do this is to challenge our own assumptions about what we think the problems based involves solid user research and the framework of well constructed personas can help. Speaking of user research, this is one of my favorite questions. Some variation off. Why do we need personas in the first place? Can we just have engineering talk directly to users to get feedback? What's with this middle man persona? I am an emphatic yes on this point. Yes, your whole product team designers, product management and engineering really any key stakeholder should hear directly from users. It's the most direct and impactful way to build empathy, empathy for user paint points and to help fire everyone up to go out and build an amazing product. Listening to user describe how they use a product in my experience, always encourages product teams toe. Wanna go and make a product better without fail. Listening in on user interviews can be a great tonic for teams. Don't just take my word for it, however. Business of you just did an article this month suggesting the same thing. Making your customers visible to your employees builds excitement and engagement because people connect what they're doing on a day to day basis to really impact for customers. That said, the art of listening can be very challenging when getting any type of feedback directly from customers, especially when it's critical as a user experience professional in the room you own translating the users words into action. This means not jumping to conclusions or assuming you understand what someone means. It means practically speaking, that you take the time to really let the user share their experience in their own words and then reflect back what you understood to validate that you received their message correctly . I'll go in Warren death on user interview techniques in another course on user research. But suffice it to say my general attitude is that all feedback is great if you've tried our app and loved it. Amazing if you tried her app and you hated it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing how we can make this experience better. I always learn something more about the users mental model from all user conversations. How did they understand the problem and what didn't we take into account? Yes, your team should sit in on any user research the camp, But try to ensure that you or your user researcher for train and active listening to the user are driving a conversation. And also keep in mind that it could be impractical to schedule everyone to sit in on all user research studies. While it is better for your teams to hear from users firsthand the limitations of schedules being what they are your your research documentation, I your personas are intended to be a good stand in and last, but certainly not least, what do you do if you don't have enough user research, which is absolutely a reality of the product lifecycle. Sometimes there just isn't enough time to do extensive user research. You need todo but never fear. Personas can still serve in these instances. Look, assumptions are necessary, part of the decision making process and a world of in perfect information. The trick is to be clear about what assumptions you're making, so that when there is time to do more sense of user research, you can validate whether those assumptions actually hold. Let's go back to Sheri Juan For a moment the two personas were using for the High Mama another way. Another way to format these personas is to explicitly call out assumptions our team has made for the purposes of moving forward with the design of the product here, I've highlighted those invalidated assumption in red italics. This makes it clear to me and the rest of the team that we may be operating on shaky ground when we take these assumptions, this fax. But they also highlight what issues should be the focus of our next user research sessions . We'll want to validate our most critical assumptions as quickly as possible assumptions air a necessary part of moving with speed, but they don't have to derail you if you are more explicit about where they are in your design process in future courses and planning to discuss the methodology, I found very helpful for clearly articulating assumptions, to avoid mistakes and to keep team members focused on the line using personas you're developing in this course to serve that function for your teams. So to wrap up, we've discussed some of the common questions asked about how to use personas in the wild. They can be a wonderful tool and really aid the process of improving empathy for your users . But just as with any tool, you have to remember to use them properly. This means bearing their limitations in mind, which include keeping them updated as living documentation. They need to evolve as your understanding of the user problem space evolves by updating them. You also ensure that your product teams don't inadvertently bake their own assumptions into their understanding of the problem they're solving. For implicit or unspoken assumptions can really derail products. You, as the user advocate, have a responsibility to avoid codifying stereotypes and biases into your personas by making sure that you're drawing from his diverse a population is possible with your user research, recognizing that real life feedback is better and is more impactful as an approach for building empathy across your product teams. But the poor Personas act is a pretty good stand in when you can't get the real stuff when you don't have time or budget to get good quality research from users, use the persona document as a way to label and call out assumptions your team is making to move forward. Then be sure to validate those assumptions with future research. Updating your persona as your understanding the problem spaces balls you see that you see you like how you like, have a brought it back full circle or like going back to updating and keeping are living documents of personas as they go. So with all this real world experience in mind, how are your class projects coming? Does this give you a better sense of how you might actually apply the two personas you're creating to the problem space of a health and wellness app? Redesign? What stumbling blocks are you facing with this class project? Be sure to add any questions you have to the forum, who you are almost done with this course in the last video will be reviewing everything we've spoken about so far stringing the whole narrative together. 6. Wrap up & Review: Congratulations, folks. You've made it to the end of my purse on the class and are well on your way to using these beauty dandy user experience. Design artifacts To better serve your target user groups as well as the product teams you support. You've learned the five W's of percent nous who do personas represent what goes into a good person. When in the design process do you use percent miss? Where do you get good user information from and why you should keep them updated. We define personas as personifications of user data composites of user groups you've identified as part of your target audience. You learn more about what personas are and how you can use them to create, but focus on alignment across your organization. We also discussed the pitfalls. The personas can help you and your product teams avoid personas. Acting is the standing for the user. Help keep you and your team focused on what's important. We also discussed the limitations of personas and how to avoid some common mistakes. Building using them mostly do your best to use personas as a wayto bust. Assumptions not hard baked them into your process. You've also created at least two personas for part of a health and wellness apurate design . Part of a larger redesign process. I'll be stringing throughout all of my courses. Put together, they create a fully fleshed showpiece for your new its portfolio. Great work, everyone. A big thank you to all of you stuff through the course. Thank you for sharing your work in the Project Forum 90 for Share Your Questions, Comments and feedback 90 for sharing your energy and participating. It was great to have you as part of the class. I hope that you enjoyed the course and feel that you could straight away implement what you want. Please feel free to follow my profile to see what other courses on offer I open and grateful for any feedback you have to share. Thank you again for participating in the discourse, and I look forward to welcoming you to another one of my courses in the future. Remember, everything can be designed