Persona Pros & Cons: How to Develop Personas + Alternatives | Melissa G Kim | Skillshare

Persona Pros & Cons: How to Develop Personas + Alternatives

Melissa G Kim, UX Designer

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9 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Intro to Personas

      3:34
    • 2. What: Personas 20 yrs ago & today

      3:19
    • 3. Why & When: To Use Personas (Pros)

      4:08
    • 4. 6 Cautions and Cons

      5:53
    • 5. How: Grounding Personas in Research

      3:06
    • 6. How: Putting it Together (A Case Study)

      4:02
    • 7. 7 Persona Alternatives

      8:54
    • 8. How: Using Personas Effectively

      4:13
    • 9. Practice

      1:41

About This Class

Let’s talk about Personas. Why and how do you make them? How can you use them effectively? We’ll go over the strengths & weaknesses of Personas, and also talk about alternative methods that can be used for the same purpose––to strengthen your portfolio or presentation/storytelling skills. 

I highly encourage going through the project, but at the very least, check out the Resources PDF I've included under the "Your Project" section. There, I've included links to the references I've made as additional resources if you want to dive deeper into any of the main points of this course.

Transcripts

1. Intro to Personas: Hello. My name is Melissa. I'm a UX designer in the San Francisco Bay area, and I'm here today to talk to you about personas, what they are, why you want to use them, why you might not want to use them and how you can implement them in presentations or your portfolio. Persona is a Latin word that means mask and often referred to a character played by an actor in the past. Today, when we use this word in the UX design research world, we mean a document that outlines typical characteristics of users, consumers or actors that are either target customers or service providers for a product or service. I'll link the full story below, but let's go through a brief history. Imagine it's 1981 and the Xerox Star 80 10 Workstation has just launched. This is what interfaces looked like. Apart from formal interface design, Alan Cooper is credited with creating personas back around 1983. Back then, computers were very small, very slow and weak. Interface design was barely emerging as a profession. Allen walked the golf course play acting a project manager loosely based off with someone he'd converse with. He imagined. How is persona? Kathy would use the software he was building. He successfully sold his program, which later became the model for Microsoft Project. In 1990. He started consulting in 95. While working with SE Jin Technologies, he asked engineers for a specific example of how someone would use their product. But they were only able to express all the ways their product could be used. I a feature list. Alan couldn't just make up a persona. He had to convince these engineers of the needs of their real users. So he asked to meet some half a dozen or so of SAGES customers. And from those brief conversations, he identified use trends and developed the first set of three true personas based on research, when he presented his designs from the personas point of view to the engineers. Finally, the engineers started to understand the importance of the reasoning behind Allen's designs . Sage. It was incredibly successful, and Allen started implementing personas in all his design work at his company, Cooper. It became their secret weapon, but Alan wanted to share his technique with others and published The inmates are running the asylum in 1998. The book was written to illustrate how talented people continuously designed bad software based products and why we need technology toe work the way average people think. Basically, he was arguing the importance of user centered thinking. The 25 pages written on personas became the inspiration for what personas are now 20 years later. Today, they are widely used tool among design practitioners for synthesizing user research findings and giving a visual expression of a target customer. Usually, they take form of a fictional person with a realistic name, face and personality description. To help foster empathy among the team. I'm also going to cover many kinds of personas. The differences between them and how they're used for different purposes, as well as persona alternatives that other designers have come with that may be even more effective. I'll try to use as many riel world examples as I can and talk about how personas can help you communicate your users needs no matter where you are in a company, big or small. Whether you're looking to strengthen your portfolio, create better designs or experience for your users, or effectively communicate your users needs to others, you should definitely include personas and personal alternatives and your tool set see you in class 2. What: Personas 20 yrs ago & today: what are personas? Their common tools because they help people within a company picture who their user is so they can better design, program or market to them. Well, personas can, in theory, be made on the spot. The one rule about personas is that they should be grounded in real data about your users. As documents, personas can be broken up into three main sections. Who they are, how they behave and what they care about. I'll be going through each of these three main sections in greater detail later. But for now, let's do a brief overview with an example. First we have the person. This usually consists of a picture, a name and their background educational, personal, professional or a given title. Educational could be their identity as a current student. Or it could be the level of education that they've completed. Personal could be related to family hobbies and professional would be their actual job title. You can also give titles to your personas to differentiate them from each other, or you can use a personality matrix like Myers Briggs Zodiac. The usefulness of these depends on the context of your researcher project and the culture of your workplace. You could include a short quote of your persona to capture an aspect of their behaviour or emotional journey. Or you can write a short summary as a too long didn't read section. Second, we have how your persona behaves their behaviors, General and contact specific habits, information sources where they get their news updates, what they use their technology for. And sometimes the communication styles or tools are also helpful. To know. Does this persona based on research and the trends in many interviewees use certain kinds of technology for certain reasons or scenarios? Since we're making this persona in the context of, ah, futuristic vehicle, I'm interested in knowing what content my users interact with when they're commuting. Thus, I've included an entertainment section, but depending on what your project or context is, you might have different sections on your personas. Lastly, we have what your persona cares about her goals, values and pain points. There's a slight difference between goals and values. Ah, goal might be to manage time well, but the value behind it is that Michelle wants to spend time with the people she cares about. Goals are what the persona is trying to accomplish, But the values are about why it's important. Then there are pain points, what negative experiences Michelle has, how, when and where they happen. And if you have responses from interviewees about your product, wishes can also help influence the conception and features. I will go deeper into each of these categories in a later section, but for now, some tips. You don't need every detail for every persona. Some personas will have longer sections. Maybe one user has more pain points than another, and that's fine, depending on what stage of the project you're in. The details may also look different. I mentioned this before, but let's go back to that entertainment section. If you're making your own persona, you might not necessarily have an entertainment section because it's not relevant to who your persona is, what they do or what they care about. Also, since you'll probably have more than one persona, consider creating an additional document that gives a brief overview of all your personas. At one glance, 3. Why & When: To Use Personas (Pros): why and when should you use personas? For startups, personas can help remind you which target audience you are prioritizing as you scale up for large corporations, personas can be helpful in narrowing down huge data sets made of thousands of users into a few well crafted representations personas of who their main users are. For those in service design, risottos can help designers focus on the different needs and pain points of people providing the service. Whether they're the desk worker checking in bags, the flight attendant or even the workers loading the bags onto the airplane personas are useful for simplifying data to understand your users, especially when there are large data sets from your research phase. It's incredible useful to synthesize that data, find the trends and create personas to represent types of users you have. This is all to understand users and consumers. At the beginning of a project you're personas might be a bit more vague and true to their values as a person. If you're looking at users reactions to a product, your personas may be more specific to your product, especially for small or medium sized companies that don't have the capability to analyze large quantities of data the way Netflix or Facebook my A B testing personas can be a great way to focus, design work and to empathize with users. Personas were created to ground designers and user centred principles. The first step to developing personas is to understand and empathize with your users, and the best way to do that is to have actual conversations with, Um third, when you've developed a persona, you can use it as an evaluation tool for concepts for users and early brainstorming stages . Many start ups end of doing this because it's more profitable and reasonable for them to focus on very specific groups of people to get their business off the ground. Later, they may expand the number of personas, or they can stay in their niche. If you already have an established product and are trying to figure out which features to roll out, next personas can help prioritize features based on users pain points, values, wishes, etcetera. For a time, I was using listen on repeat dot com, which is a website that streams YouTube music on repeat. I also downloaded and used their app to avoid paying for YouTube music saving music under an account was available on the Web site, but it wasn't available on their app. I actually asked the developers why that was because it was really annoying. Toe have a list of songs that I listened to on my phone, but when I downloaded the app on my iPad, the same list wouldn't cross over because there was no connection from what I could understand. The developers just didn't have the band with to work on it. They later deleted their app off the APP store and updated their website. They probably saw that their main audience was on their website and so chose to put their app development on hold. Lastly, like Alan Cooper was finding, it can sometimes be overwhelming. If you're trying to design or create for everyone, Percent was help you focus on needs for different users. This way, you can tackle individual problems while working towards the big picture of what your product or service offers. Imagine you already have. Your person was developed. When should you use them? First? Unite Internal company vision and second advocate for users in front of non designers. When Alan Cooper first used personas, he was trying to unite the understanding envision of engineers, designers and the managers who were overseeing the project in a larger company. You'll also find yourself using personas to convince decision makers and money holders think about the purchasing processes companies have to go through. Sometimes personas can be a useful tool to convince your managers and the people with the money and power to fund your projects that there will be a value return for the company if it invest in this worthwhile cause or design. Often times personas are actually not as helpful as video clips of user feedback or journey maps or use cases. But personas are a foundational part of developing journey, mapping and use case documents. You can't explain these documents without telling a story about a user. Lastly, people you're speaking to or scrolling through your website can get an idea of who your user WAAS and thus understand your design decisions. 4. 6 Cautions and Cons: There are some common mistakes that people make when developing personas. It's easy to make a poorly crafted persona, and the most common mistake is you make the wrong kind of persona. You create an ideal customer versus a real one. Whether you ignored research that was done or just didn't conduct proper researcher synthesis, this is probably the most common mistake. Just because you do research doesn't mean you understand your user. If you have an incorrect idea of who your persona is or what they care about, it will negatively affect your entire business. Personas are meant to keep you focused and save you time, money and confusion in the future. If you bet on an incorrect persona, your current users, pain points will not go away and their wishes won't be fulfilled. That leaves room for a competitor company to come and take them away. You also have to remember that correlation in your data sets is not causation. Prime example. Blockbuster. They thought people loved going to their stores and they were right. But they didn't go deeper into why The research they conducted said that people enjoyed going to their stores so to build up their revenue. They tried to put toys and gadgets near the registers, so when kids would walk past the counter, they would begged their parents to buy them one of those stuffed animals. What they didn't realize was the reasons people like going to their store had little to do with store itself and the service they were offering. Thus, Netflix swept in and took their users because Netflix delivered directly to the users in a more convenient, efficient fashion, especially when they started streaming. I should also mention that Blockbuster's main source of income was late fees. Once people stopped walking in the stores, it was game over. Second, without a persona, it's very easy to forget. What you're making is going to be used by other people with specific goals. But even with a persona, you can forget that your persona is an actual person, and if you treat your personas lightly, it will end in a lack of empathy for your customers. There really people with real lives and they're experiencing real problems and struggles in your website or service and outside in their personal lives. Third, maybe your persona is generic. There's either too many personas or too few. One rial customer is not a persona that's not basing a persona off of research, and more personas don't make you more empathetic. At the end of the day, you have to remember, this is a tool to help you focus on improving the experience of as many users as possible. So don't base your personas on friends. This was especially a university problem. I noticed so many projects I saw were based on the design students, friends and I could just tell because the week personas made their project look shallow and un interesting. Personas are supposed to help people believe in the problem. If your persona isn't doing that, then you've got a bad persona. Fourth, visual clutter don't useful sentences unless you're doing a summary or a quote. Cut down the number of words as much as possible. Simple and concise is best, especially don't include info that isn't relevant to the designer service. And because personas are tools for the design team, it's not usually helpful to put them in a presentation to a VP. If you do, you use it as a talking point to highlight very specific aspects of the persona that are important to the story of the presentation that you're telling. Michelle values this and she struggles with this. Thus, the design team created these features to meet Michelle's needs, and here they are at that point, showing the document is not super necessary. Fifth, if people in the company don't understand the personas, there's a lack of consistency in the work that's being produced. As you can see in this beautiful graphic by Run, UX is at the collaborative center of tech business design and people. It's a beautiful picture, but a tough journey to navigate. You'll have to explain what seems like simple, obvious information to marketing and engineering who just have different focuses than you. So we need to be prepared to defend our users by inviting people toe watch user testing sessions to do brainstorming sessions with us based on personas, etcetera. Sixth, I mentioned this already, but I can't stress this enough. You may have noticed that I didn't include demographics in my earlier persona. Example. I did that on purpose because we can unintentionally perpetuate stereotypes by the photos and info we choose to put on our percent of documents. Indy Young is well known in the U X research space. In a wonderfully thoughtful medium article, which I'll link for you below. She uses this picture as an example. While the info is new and interesting, nobody purchases tickets the way they do or for the same reasons based on their gender or age. As you can see, gender has nothing to do with the why behind these stats, the why is what you should be looking for as a designer, especially when you're choosing photos, you have to be super careful. It breaks my heart. But I did hear from a designer that she had to change the picture of a persona because of vice president of her company had an adverse reaction to the picture of a black woman on one of her personas. The picture was justified by the data results, but the exact could just not wrap his head around. The fact that their company was useful to someone who looked like her be aware that there may be times you subconsciously assume things about your users. Try to prevent opportunities for racism or sexism to detract from your work. Try using ambiguous icons or illustrations that abstract gender or race in the suggests, using demographics on Leah's a trick to shock the team into having more empathy. Seeing the demographics, they'll realize their biases and be more aware. Just know that this trick can backfire, as you saw in the latest example. 5. How: Grounding Personas in Research: grounding personas in research. Because personas are representations of users who are the foundation of a product, you have to get it right, which means you have to conduct proper research. It can be difficult in some companies because they don't understand the value of research. Some common excuses and barriers you might find our There's no time. It's not important we've done research already. We can't advertise private information. It's non disclosure, or there's no money that the company is willing to invest in it. Unless you're a company like Google, Facebook or lift. Most companies don't yet understand the value and insight there designers or researchers can bring to the table. Managers are executives keep pointing to old studies that they've already paid for or encourage you to just ask the people who work for the business that can work. In some cases, linked unused a tool called video kits, which is comparable to a take home interview that's recorded on your phone. The CEO of Lincoln asked every single employee at Lengthen to go home and complete this video survey and this work because Lincoln's employees are the users of the business. But if your workers are not your users, your only continuing a cycle where a company is stuck in their own world designing for themselves. It's very sad. But in many large corporations, some design decisions are made because at the final meeting, the VP says their wife doesn't like the color, and so they have to change it even if he was based on research. Now you have no control over what a VP decides, but you do have control over the quality of your own work if you have the time and money, sometimes corporations will outsource small companies that will find you testers and users who meet your criteria and conduct their tests off campus so the testers don't connect. The questions are content with the specific corporation. This can ensure that no rumors air spread about what your company is or is not doing, and you can also ensure that your testers air not responding to your questions with a bias . Whatever the situation, just be careful. You don't overstep your bounds is an employee by accidentally revealing information that would apply under the non disclosure agreement where start ups and individuals, if you can't conduct a formal study, make do with research you have create a short survey and post it on Facebook. Reddit create graffiti walls, posters with prompts and stickers and markers that people can write on and mark up and respond to go out and casually talk to people. I find that lifting uber drivers air, usually very chatty when you have your research, especially if it's a large data set, get ready with your highlighter. Sharpie and sticky notes. Quantitative and qualitative are all important. What you're looking for are trends in the data. Demographics are usually easiest because they're simple to obtain, and they can appear in grafs on surveymonkey or user testing. But like I mentioned earlier, you want to be careful about using demographics. Looking at the reasons why people make decisions in a free response, quote or fill in the blank is much more time consuming, but it will all be so worth it 6. How: Putting it Together (A Case Study): putting it together. There are a number of tools you can use the most prominent among them being Adobe Illustrator in design, Kino Power Point and Pages. All of these you can export to a PDF or J. Paige PNG image. I also recommend trying out online tools like Extensive E O, which is free. Extensiva has a persona template ready and waiting for you to put data into it, which can save you the 15 minutes or so of first making the outline and then constantly adjusting the spacing. You can add new sections and even add people to collaborate with you on the persona, although you can probably do it on your own. From what I understand, the only restrictions may be the number of folios or projects you can have at a time. You have to pay for unlimited freedom. The example I'm going to share with you is from my UX design internship at Women Talk Design. I worked with my friend and Pierre Jennifer, and our project goal was to redesign the woman talked design website based on feedback from conference organizers and women speakers. First thing we had to find these people we created a short survey for speakers and conference organizer's. Thankfully, Kristina would key in the young, and many of our mentors were willing to help spread our survey through their Twitter network. We then looked at the results in the spreadsheet and march. The people we thought would be most useful to talk to. We had an initial 15 minute to 30 minute phone call just to double check. You might wonder why we did that. If you're trying to get as much info as you can from people, you can't hold on informative conversation with the person who only has 15 to 20 minutes of content. We had one of those near the end. We were rushing and we didn't do the initial 15 minute, 30 minutes check, and we ended up having one of those conversations. It was super awkward, but when we did double check, we were rewarded. We had several hour to hour and 1/2 long conversations, even a two hour long one you don't have to imagine with synthesis looked like because I put a picture right there. You can see us affinity. Mapping are notes from our transcripts and audio. It's okay to make a scrappy one first and make a nicer one later. We actually didn't make personas, but I'll show you what that might have looked like using the same template I made earlier. I've used a generic illustration of person for the image and name. I could use a more ambiguous illustration, but in this case it actually makes sense. Many conference organizers are white men. That's just a fact. You'll notice some of the bolted sections have changed. If it the occasion I find when making personas the titles sometimes become more clear as you synthesize not before. But here's my guess. For now. And here's a quote. Please imagine that there are several other quotes that have similar content, which is why I'm using it as an example here. Please also imagine I've written the underlying parts on a sticky note affinity Match those sticky notes, and I'm now putting them on a persona document. From our quotes, we learned that the experience happening here is specific to medium sized conferences which are limited by budget, thus limiting the kinds of speakers they have access to. There are no resource is that Andy finds to be helpful, available online and this also unfortunately limits the diversity of content and viewpoints . He wants to get a diverse lineup, but Andy doesn't understand why it can be so difficult to get speakers to say yes, even if he's got their contact info like this to keep going until you fill out who your persona is. And after we finished all our synthesis, we found we had three personas. Two of them were our primary personas because of the values of women talk design, we found ourselves organizing for the conference organizer who wants to find women speakers by topic. And we found ourselves also reaching out to support women who want to get into speaking but are not sure how. You would also consider creating an anti persona, which is the persona that you are not solving for. The reason you might do that is because you're trying to create a contrast between who your user is and who it isn't 7. 7 Persona Alternatives: we've gone through personas, but you may be wondering if there are other solutions that bypass some of the downsides of using a persona I've compiled for you. A few alternatives. It might be a little confusing, but I'll try to break it all down for you as best as I can. Number one. Just talk to people. I've said it a few times in this video, so I won't go much deeper. The point is, if you're in a time crunch or if you're still a student or even if you're working at a company, what is stopping you from walking outside and talking to your target audience? This is not just for before you do concept ing or ideation. This is throughout your whole process. Stop by a coffee shop. Insert the subject casually into a conversation with your lifter uber driver. Chat with people you're standing in line with. You don't always have to use an intro. Hi, I'm a designer. Unless you're a student. People usually like helping students. You can be super casual about it. I know not everyone has the social skills or confidence to do this, but at this point you're trying to be lean, and anyway, it's a great opportunity to build up those social skills. Second is what I'm calling identity expression. Instead of using a literal representation of a person, why not use another identifying object to represent that person? I don't know what to call it, so I can't search for it online, and I've only seen it once in practice. I will say this is more of a marketing or branding approach. It's more about the feeling than the person. But I found it to be extremely helpful, especially when I'm trying to avoid involving demographics. A designer from Kate Spade once gave a short lecture to my class about how she uses design in her work. Instead of showing us a persona, she showed us pictures of what a Kate Spade Consumers Room looks like. The room became the representative image. I later used pictures of college students, bedrooms for a project done for a C. L U, nor Cal. We were showing the young adults use colorful posters, stickers, badges, pins and other objects to express who they are and what they care about. If appropriate. You can also use this method when painting the picture of who your user is. Maybe you could also use it alongside personas. Third, empathy maps are quite similar to personas have included this template created by Dave Gray , which you can download for free off the Internet. The link is in the resource is pdf for this class. As you can see in the center, there's an ambiguous head, which doesn't hint of any demographic information, and the section surrounding the head correspond with the part. For example, the say section is by the mouth, and the thought section is in the head. The two sections inside the head are pains and gains that's the same as pain points and goals or values. What I like about this map is that it forces you to methodically identify the differences between what users see, say, think, do And here one weakness of empathy maps is the size of the map. If you're using sticky notes, make sure you print or draw this big on the wall. Otherwise you'll run out of room fourth. We have behavioral personas. Why did they add the word behavioral in front of persona? This is a specific term that some service designers used to express that their personas are representative models of the different participants within a service. They've kept the term persona to signify the representation of a particular role within the service ecosystem. Think about large service ecosystems like the one airline has. There are more people involved in the passengers. There are flight attendants and pilots. There are checking assistance and numerous digital and physical touchpoints along the way. If you're interested in getting into service design, you may want to remember this term. General UX designers may not recognize the nuance difference, but a service designer might, which can only be a plus if you're applying for a job. Fifth, we have behavioral archetypes. Okay, now it's getting a little confusing. But bear with me. The word persona is singular in Latin. Even though Alan Cooper used personas to capture trends and user behavior of multiple users , each persona was distinct from the others. From what I can tell, behavioral archetypes are what persona should be because the original purpose of a persona document has been somewhat lost, there is a feeling or need to distinguish between the qualities of personas. This article I'm quoting from defines personas as only focusing on who the user is by demographics. They then distinguish those from behavioral archetypes as documents reflecting people's motivations, needs and, in effect, behavioral patterns. What's unique about this kind of persona alternative is that users can be categorized as different archetypes. Depending on the scenario. Someone seeking jobs when recently laid off will behave differently than when they are employed and simply looking for a change. Behavioral archetypes allows the users more realistic flexibility and can create a more nuanced journey. Map or story. Sixth are thinking style segments coined by indie young India is a researcher that has contributed a lot to the UX design research sphere. She's super knowledgeable, and I highly recommend checking out her conference talks and books. I'll link some Resource Is for You in the pdf. Here's a quote from her. When forming thinking styles, you look for unique reasoning, reactions and guiding principles that some people have in common in her practice, and he only uses short online surveys to identify potential interviewees to follow up with in depth. Later, she distrusts survey data because it is not an essay expressing a person's own approach rather than conforming to answers someone else made up and are close enough. In this example she uses in her presentations India's comparing typical personas with her thinking styles. Each persona is actually switching between two thinking styles in different contexts. The flexibility that thinking styles allows is much better than the regular persona. Because it's true. For example, we act differently. Traveling alone vs traveling with family or friends. Thinking styles sounds similar to behavioral archetypes. Both acknowledge that behavior will change depending on context, but there are two clear differences. One behavioral archetypes are used alongside marketing personas toe look at brand thinking style segments, reject most demographic information as a relevant and are always using pure problems. Space on Lee to behavioral archetypes can be based on any kind of research, but thinking style segments can't be generated by survey data. They come from very specific deep kinds of research, like listening sessions or detailed short essays written by users about their thought processes. Lastly, we have marketing personas. This one is a little different from the others. I'm not recommending that you use customer archetypes or marketing personas, because this is primarily a video about how personas are used in design, but I want to make the distinction between these two very clear. Otherwise, you'll be confused until you run into the difference in an actual company. At the end of the day, marketing and design may be using the same persona document. However. It all comes down to how they use it. Marketing is primarily interested in how to convince people to buy a product or sign up for a service on boarding. They're often times not communicating what or how the service or product meets your needs. Day today, marketing is selling a feeling. That's why companies like Nike pay exorbitant amounts of money to athletes to appear in their commercials. Nike sells that cool factor. I want to be as cool and skill is those athletes, or at least look as coolest them. But what is it like to browse and purchase off? The website opened the shoebox washed clothes. This is where designers come in and use personas to justify spending time and money, developing the little nuances of the experience to create a holistic, positive and cool experience. The marketing team will never advertise the micro interactions on the Web site, but that doesn't make those design decisions any less important. So you see that person has become effective depending on how you use them. It can be difficult when marketing and design have to work together, because marketing wants to own the brand through commercials and ads. But people's response to the actual service or product is what makes a brand what it is. And that's what designers constantly focus on meeting people's needs and expectations in actual cos. No matter how big or small, there can be conflicts between design and marketing if both are not able to understand what the other is focusing on and be united on one vision. But some compromise must be reached for the product, service or experience to be successful. 8. How: Using Personas Effectively: you're almost done. You've learned how to make personas and why and when to use them. Now, how do you use personas effectively? I've given you a lot of different names for personas. The reason why there are so many different names is because the original idea of what a persona should be, and thus their effectiveness has become clouded. It's too easy to make a persona just to check a box or unintentionally make a week or inaccurate persona. Then people made their own terms for what they dio and because the industry is still young , we haven't settled on which terms to use yet. Whether you want to use the alternative personas I've presented or not is up to you. If you say personas, most people still understand what that means. If you make distinctions between personas, some service or design researchers may pick up on the implication that you take your personas seriously. Just remember to ground your personas in research no matter what. If you're trying to strengthen your portfolio or presentation, personas or alternatives can be a great visual way to outline who your users are. With a well crafted persona, you can tell a compelling story to hiring managers, fellow designers or even people outside of designed to better communicate your users goals in pain points. In order to communicate the most effective concept or solution, you need to first explain why that solution is needed in the first place. For example, I could tell you that I'm creating a robot duck that needs to have a soft exterior, realistic movements and sensors that react to five buttons with different emoji faces on them. You could say, Why does it need to be soft or why should I care about that? But if I tell you that the persona we're designing for is a child going through cancer treatment, who needs an emotional companion to help them cope with their situation that suddenly changes things? The explanation and logic give meaning to the solution, and personas can help convey that meaning. So you'll want to start with the persona before you go into how your solution meets your users needs. When you're putting personas in your portfolio, make sure you also detail where the info in your persona is coming from, like how many people you heard from otherwise, people like me will be suspicious. How accurate is your data? And how does that affect the effectiveness of your solution? Many people make their portfolios read like a process book. But in general practice report Folio should read like a story about your persona. First you tell me what the story is about. My professor is a speaker at conferences, and she noticed that there are always more men on stage than women. She asked conference Organizer's why that was, and they had many excuses, one being that they didn't know where the woman were. In her frustration, Christina created the woman talked design website and urged her appears to add themselves to the website, but no conference organizers were using it. I was tasked with finding out how and why conference organizers and speakers make the decisions they dio and redesigned the website. Then I would intrude my two primary personas that I found through research and talk through how the redesign reflects and solves for the pain points and feedback of those personas. Compare that to the bland look at my internship. First I did research and then made a persona, then made a solution. The structure of the classic chronological design presentation or portfolio doesn't change . When it does change is because you're telling people a story about your users, and the content suddenly becomes a lot more compelling. You can start with the hook by telling your audience a story about your persona, what they care about their pain points, how the system isn't working for them or you can use the general presentation outline for your portfolio. When I created my portfolio website, I ordered all the details of my projects similar to the way I did my presentations, project context and high level solution research and findings lead to personas development of the solution based on personas. I should also state of disclaimer that this is my personal current opinion on how portfolios should be and you are welcome to use whatever order that you think is best. 9. Practice: personas air, not a skill you can include on your resume, but they're extremely important for storytelling purposes. They are a powerful tool because they are grounded in research and findings about real people. That being said, there are a lot of people out there who have differing opinions on the effectiveness of personas. Hopefully, I've provided you with enough information for you to decide for yourself what you think. Most practices begin well, but as they become adopted and adapted, some of the original purpose is lost. Personas are no different. Make sure that when you develop personas or persona alternatives, you strive to represent your users as accurately as possible without assumption in a way that compels your team and people to support your user as best they can. Below this video, you'll find your class project and some links I've left for you in a pdf file. Some of the links air from references I've used in this video, while others will be helpful to you as you work on as you work on your class project and grow as a designer. One critique of personas is that people in the design board team at large don't seem to truly empathize with users unless they were involved in the design. Research phases of actually talking to users are poring over the transcripts or audio clips searching for insights. Thus, for your class project, I encourage you to prepare to make a persona by starting with research. I've given you a few options based on how much time you prepared to dedicate. The rest of the instructions are outlined below. But if you have any questions, just contact me, Let me know I'll get back to you.