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The Essential Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas

Book Description

The Essential Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas offers a practical guide to the creation and use of personas, which can help product designers, their team, and their organization become more user focused. This book is for people who just need to know what to do and what order to do it in. It is completely focused on practical tools and methods, without much explanation on why the particular tool or method is the right one.
The book discusses the five phases of persona lifecycle:
• Family planning - Basic ideas and a few tools that will help one get organized.
• Conception and gestation - Step-by-step instructions to move from assumptions to completed personas.
• Birth and maturation - Strategic techniques to get the right information about ones personas out to ones your teammates at the right time.
• Adulthood - Specific tools that will ensure that ones personas are used by the right people at the right times and in the right ways during the product development cycle.
• Lifetime achievement and retirement - Basic ideas and a few tools to you measure the success of the persona effort and prepare for the next one.

*Practical and immediately applicable how-to reference guide for building and using personas - from planning, creating, launching, evaluating, and determining ROI

    *Invaluable guide that gives you a quick reference for incorporating personas into a product development process

      *Features all the essential how-to material from its parent book, The Persona Lifecycle, as a quick, at your fingertips companion

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. About the Authors
  3. 1. What are personas?
    1. Introduction
    2. Why a Persona Lifecycle?
      1. The Five Phases of the Persona Lifecycle
    3. Why Another Persona Lifecycle Book?
    4. What Additional Materials Will I Find in the Original Persona Lifecycle Book?
  4. 2. The five phases of the persona lifecycle
    1. Introduction
    2. The Persona Lifecycle Encourages and Supports User-Centered Design
      1. Phase 1. Persona Family Planning
      2. Phase 2. Persona Conception and Gestation
      3. Phase 3. Persona Birth and Maturation
      4. Phase 4. Persona Adulthood
      5. Phase 5. Persona Lifetime Achievement, Reuse, and Retirement
  5. 3. Persona family planning
    1. What Is Family Planning for Personas?
    2. Organizational Introspection: Are Personas Right for Your Project?
    3. Step 1. Build a Core Team
    4. Step 2. Identify Goals
      1. Creating Clear Goals Now Will Help You Measure ROI Later
    5. Step 3. Create an Action Plan
    6. Step 4. Get Your Hands on Some Data
      1. Stay Organized
    7. Get Ready for Conception and Gestation!
  6. 4. Persona conception and gestation
    1. What is the Conception and Gestation Process for Personas?
    2. The Six-Step Conception and Gestation Process
    3. How Long Does the Conception and Gestation Process Take?
    4. How Many Personas Should You Create?
      1. The Argument for a Single Primary Persona
        1. Creating One Person to Design for: Great in Theory, Complicated in Practice
    5. Persona Conception: Steps 1, 2, and 3
      1. Step 1. Identify Ad Hoc Personas
        1. Assumptions Exist; Ad Hoc Personas Articulate Them
        2. Ad Hoc Personas are Easy to Create and Help People Understand Why Personas are Valuable
        3. Ad Hoc Personas Can Prompt Data Collection
        4. Ad Hoc Personas, Communicated and Used Properly, are Simply Not that Risky
        5. When are Ad Hoc Personas a Bad Idea?
        6. How Long Does It Take to Create Ad Hoc Personas?
        7. The Ad Hoc Persona Creation Process
          1. 1. Identify participants and schedule the workshop
          2. 2. Introduce the workshop and clarify business, brand, and user experience goals
          3. 3. Identify current language used to describe categories of users
        8. Alternatives to the Workshops: Send Out an E-Mail Questionnaire
        9. Review Existing Product Vision, Strategy, and Design Documents
          1. 4. Complete assumption sticky note exercise
        10. Assimilate Assumptions
          1. If you are going to move on to data-driven personas . . .
          2. If you are going to use ad hoc personas . . .
          3. The magic, and pain, of this exercise
          4. But how do you know these needs and wants are real? You haven’t used any data!
        11. Identify Categories and Subcategories
      2. Step 2. Process the Data
        1. Data Processing Methods
        2. Collaborative Assimilation Has Side Benefits
        3. Assimilation Works Well, But It Does Have a Few Drawbacks
        4. Plan Your Assimilation Meeting
        5. Describe the Goal and Outcome of the Meeting
        6. Identify Key Data Points (Factoids) in the Data Sources
        7. Transfer Factoids to Sticky Notes
        8. Post User Category Labels Around the Room
        9. Assimilate the Factoids
        10. Label the Clusters of Factoids
        11. Data Tend to Cluster in Expected and Unexpected Ways
        12. Know When to Stop
        13. Identify Subcategories of Users
        14. Clusters Identify Groups of Facts; Subcategories Identify Groups of People
        15. When Does a Difference Merit a Subcategory?
        16. What If We End Up Creating a Lot of Categories and Subcategories?
      3. Step 3. Create Skeletons
        1. Ad Hoc Persona Skeletons
        2. Data-Driven Persona Skeletons
          1. How many skeletons should I create?
    6. Persona Gestation: Steps 4, 5, and 6
      1. Step 4. Prioritize the Skeletons
        1. Structure the Discussion
        2. Ask Stakeholders to Assign Points
        3. Remember, It’s Their Decision
        4. Ask If Anyone is “Missing”
      2. Step 5. Develop Selected Skeletons into Personas
        1. What is a Persona Foundation Document?
        2. Ad Hoc Personas Versus Data-Driven Personas: Two Types of Foundation Documents
          1. Ad hoc persona foundation documents
          2. Data-driven persona foundation documents
        3. Choose Persona Characteristics to Include in the Foundation Document
        4. Start a Foundation Document (Transfer Factoids into Your Skeletons)
        5. Get Specific About Each Core Characteristic
        6. Moving Toward Precision Means Moving Away From Accuracy
        7. When in Doubt, Choose Details that are Precise and Memorable
        8. Incorporate Narrative and Storytelling Elements
        9. Derive Specific Details and Stories from Real Observations
        10. You Can Use Stereotypes, But Use them with Care
        11. Beware Any Details that Can Evoke Strong Emotional Responses
        12. Don’t Overdo It
        13. Know When to Stop
        14. Illustrate Your Personas
        15. Don’t Use Slick Stock Photos
        16. Illustrations Can Be an Interesting Alternative to Photos
        17. Audition the Photos
        18. Name Your Personas
        19. Create Name and Tag Line Combinations
      3. Step 6. Validate Your Personas
        1. Treat Validation as an Opportunity for Data Gathering
        2. Validating Ad Hoc Personas
          1. Quick validation of ad hoc personas
          2. Using data to validate ad hoc personas
        3. Validating Data-Driven Personas
        4. Check Back in with Your Data
        5. Have Subject Matter Experts Review Your Personas
        6. Show Your Personas to Real Users
        7. Conduct “Reality Check” Site Visits
          1. Create persona profile screeners
          2. Recruit representative people and visit them
        8. Conduct Large-Sample Surveys or Interviews
          1. Example A
          2. Example B
          3. Example C
        9. Completed Personas Do Not Mark the End of User Research
    7. How to Know You are Ready for Birth and Maturation
    8. Summary
  7. 5. Persona birth and maturation
    1. What Is Birth and Maturation for Personas?
    2. Step 1. Prepare for Birth and Beyond
      1. Create Your Communication Strategy
      2. Keep Stakeholders “In the Know”
      3. Evaluate Your Audiences and Determine Who Needs What Information
      4. Birth Can Be a Private Event if Necessary
      5. Be Realistic About Your Timing
      6. Prepare the Core Persona Team for Their New Roles in Birth and Beyond
        1. Transition Persona Core Team Members into Persona Wranglers
        2. Assign a Wrangler for Each Persona
        3. Agree on Which Persona Characteristics Must Be Protected
    3. Step 2. Birth
      1. Introduce User-Centered Design, the Persona Method, and Your Persona Project
        1. Communicate the Benefits of User-Centered Product Design
        2. Communicate the Benefits of Using Personas
        3. Communicate the Specifics of Your Persona Effort
          1. Explain where the personas came from
          2. Explain how your personas will fit into your existing development cycle
          3. Describe the everyday benefits of personas
      2. Introduce Your Personas
        1. What if Birth Makes You Realize Something Is Wrong with the Personas?
        2. What if Birth Just Doesn’t Work?
    4. Step 3. Maturation
      1. Progressively Educate and Maintain Focus on Your Personas
      2. Send Your Personas Out into the World, but Maintain Ownership
      3. Work to Build Credibility
      4. Conduct Persona-Based User Research
      5. Focus on More Than Getting the Personas Known; Focus on Getting Them Used
    5. Persona Artifacts (the What and How of Communicating Your Personas)
      1. The Persona Artifact Design Process: Things to Consider Whatever Materials or Format You Use
        1. Agree on the Specific Goal of the Artifact
        2. Agree on the Audience, Timing, and Distribution Method for the Artifact
        3. Agree on the Information Elements That Should and Should Not Be Included on the Artifact
        4. Agree on the Relative Priorities of the Information Elements on the Artifact
      2. Select the Best Communication Tool for the Job: Three Categories of Persona Artifacts
        1. Buzz Generators
          1. Early Buzz Generators
          2. Later Buzz Generators
      3. Comparison Facilitators
        1. Early Comparison Facilitators
          1. Persona rosters
          2. Persona communication constellations
          3. Executive summary slides
        2. Later Comparison Facilitators
          1. Detailed comparison posters
        3. Enrichers
          1. Persona one-pagers
          2. Targeted detail posters
          3. Targeted detail handouts (candy, gizmos, and so on)
          4. Persona e-mail campaigns
          5. Anti-personas
          6. Create real people posters
      4. Create a Central Repository for Your Persona Artifacts
        1. The Persona Website
    6. If You Are a Consultant
    7. Summary
  8. 6. Persona adulthood
    1. What Is Adulthood for Personas?
    2. What to Expect During Persona Adulthood
      1. Personas Are Not a Panacea, and Other Methods Do Work
      2. Personas Are Not “Golden”
      3. Personas Are Not Your Company’s Product
      4. Personas Will Never Be Universally Loved and Respected
    3. Job 1: Help Your Personas Settle In
    4. Start With the Basics: Invite Personas into Your Offices and into Your Meetings
    5. Plan, Design, Evaluate, Release: How to Use Personas During the Stages of Product Development
    6. Stage 1. Use Personas to Plan Your Product
      1. Use Persona-Based Approaches to Understand User Requirements and Envision Your Product
      2. Invite Personas to Tell You Their Stories
      3. Analyze Your Competition Through the Eyes of Your Personas
      4. Brainstorm Possible Features Using Your Personas
      5. Prioritize features using the persona-weighted feature matrix
      6. Take the Matrix One Step Further: Plot Feature Value Versus Technical Feasibility
    7. Stage 2. Use Personas to Explore Design Solutions
      1. Personas and Scenario-Based Design
        1. Create a Scenario Collection Spreadsheet
      2. Use Design Maps to Create New Experiences for Your Personas
        1. What Exactly Are Maps?
        2. Why Use Maps?
      3. The Design Mapping Process
      4. Step 1. Decide Which Processes You Want to Map
      5. Step 2. Create the Maps
        1. Elements of Every Map: Titles, Steps, Questions, Comments, and Design Ideas
          1. Steps (blue sticky notes)
          2. Comments (green sticky notes)
          3. Questions (yellow sticky notes)
          4. Design ideas (pink sticky notes)
        2. The “Mapping Team”
        3. Mapping Something Complex? Try Branches and Layers
          1. Branching
          2. Layering
        4. Managing Design Mapping Sessions
      6. Step 3. Analyze the Maps
        1. Identify and Label Interesting Aspects of the Map
          1. Phase labels
          2. Artifact indicators
          3. “Mr. Yuk” indicators
          4. “Deep-dive” indicators
          5. Map connection arrows
          6. Map legend
      7. Step 4. Use Design Maps to Create Wireframes
      8. Step 5. Evaluate and Communicate Your Solutions
        1. Use Design Maps to Get Different Views of Your Product in Action
        2. Use Design Maps to Support Walkthroughs and to Create Scenarios and Use Cases
        3. Use Design Maps to Evaluate Design Changes During Development
        4. Use Design Maps to Communicate With Other Departments
    8. Use Personas to Help You Explore Visual Design Solutions
    9. Adult Personas and Developers
    10. Stage 3. Use Personas to Evaluate Your Solutions
      1. Use Personas in Design Reviews and Cognitive Walkthroughs
      2. Use Personas as a Recruiting Profile for Usability Testing and Market Research
      3. Use Personas to Focus Quality Assurance Testing and to Create Test Cases
      4. Use Personas and Scenarios to Inform Test Cases
      5. Conduct a Persona Bug Bash
      6. Remember the Persona-Weighted Feature Matrix
    11. Stage 4. Use Personas to Support the Release of Your Product
      1. Personas Can Help Focus Instructional Materials, Guidebooks, and Editorial Content
      2. Personas Can Tailor Marketing and Sales Efforts
        1. Remember to Differentiate Between Users and Customers
    12. Transitioning into Lifetime Achievement, Reuse, and Retirement
    13. Summary
  9. 7. Persona lifetime achievement, reuse, and retirement
    1. What Are Lifetime Achievement, Reuse, and Retirement for Personas?
    2. Step 1. Measure the Return on Investment of Your Persona Effort
      1. Measure the ROI of the Persona Effort
      2. The Work You Did During the Family Planning Phase Will Help You Measure ROI
    3. Step 2. Decide How to Manage the Transition to the Next Project
      1. Reclaim Ownership and Control of Your Personas
      2. Evaluate Your Data. Are the Data Still Valid for the Next Project?
      3. Decide to Reuse, Reincarnate, or Retire Your Personas
        1. Reusing Your Personas
        2. Reincarnating Your Personas (Reusing Some or All of Your Data)
        3. Reincarnating Personas
        4. Retiring Your Personas
    4. Summary
  10. A. Ad hoc persona example
    1. Company: ACME Professional Association for CPAs
    2. Gary Getting Started
    3. Meet Gary
      1. Gary’s goals
      2. Gary’s questions in his own terms
      3. How we want to answer Gary’s questions
      4. What we think Gary should know
  11. B. Data-driven persona example
    1. Description
    2. Tanner’s Goals and Desires
      1. Tanner at Play
      2. Tanner and the Family Computer
  12. C. Case study: G4K (games 4 kids) kids’ web portal
    1. Introduction
      1. Who is G4K?
      2. What is G4K trying to achieve?
      3. What does this case study provide?
    2. G4K Persona Family Planning
      1. Putting together the core team
        1. The Persona Core Team
        2. The Persona On-Call Team
      2. Creating the Action Plan
        1. Resources for Our Persona Effort
        2. Product Problems We want to Solve with Personas
        3. Process Problems We want to Solve with Personas
    3. The G4K Persona Team find some much needed Data Free Web-Based Data Sources
    4. G4K Persona Conception and Gestation
      1. The team discusses user categories
    5. Identifying Factoids and Transferring them to Sticky Notes
    6. Assimiliating Factoids
      1. Finding unexpected clusters
    7. Identifying Subcategories of Users and Creating Skeletons
      1. Subcategories that were most meaningful and unique
        1. Kids
        2. Parents
        3. Educators
    8. Discussing Priorities
    9. Completing the Personas
    10. G4K Persona Birth and Maturation
      1. Creating a Communication Strategy
        1. Goals for the G4K Communication Campaign
        2. The G4K Persona Effort Elevator Pitch
        3. G4K Persona Artifacts
    11. G4K Persona Adulthood
    12. Using Personas for Competitive Analysis
      1. Key Findings
      2. Key Findings
    13. Using Personas for Feature Brainstorms
    14. Creating A Persona-Weighted Feature Matrix
    15. Using A Scenario Collection Spreadsheet
      1. Using scenario counts as a rough guide
      2. Structuring user research based on personas
    16. G4K Measures the ROI of the Persona Effort
      1. Returning to the action plan to measure success
    17. Measuring Product Improvements
      1. From the statement of product problems to solve with personas
    18. Measuring Process Improvements
    19. Preparing Personas for the Next Project
  13. Bibliography