Posts about Personas


Creating Personas

This May, Cooper U launched a brand new 1-day workshop all about personas. One of the participants, Eeva Ilama, shared her takeaways from the class on UX Booth. Here's some of what she wrote: 

After having attended some of Cooper’s highly reputable interaction and visual interface design courses a few years back, I was beyond thrilled when I saw that UX Booth was offering a free ticket to one of their San Francisco-based readers to one of Cooper’s brand new courses called Putting Personas to Work.

The course was targeted towards user experience practitioners and the challenges they face at their workplaces when trying to apply personas to their product design and development processes. Though personas are an awesome design tool, we all agreed that they often get a bad rap. For example:

  • There is confusion about the differences between different types of personas (marketing vs. design personas)
  • There are misconceptions about how personas originate (the most accurate and convincing personas are based on actual field research)
  • Poorly constructed personas undermine the credibility of all personas
  • Poor communication about personas within an organization
  • Lack of clarity around how personas should be used throughout design
  • Lack of understanding of how design personas can be used over time 

The course agenda was designed to address all these concerns and misconceptions in detail, to provide students with the ammo they need when trying to achieve stakeholder buy-in.

You can read Eeva's full account here on UX Booth

In May, Cooper U launched its first-ever, public 1-day workshop all about personas. One of the participants, Eeva Ilama, shared her takeaways on UX Booth. Here's what she wrote.  

Because Personas

On Friday, May 1st, Cooper's Design Education Strategist Nikki Knox chatted with 150 curious designers about the importance of personas and how to put them to work. Here are some of the highlights: 

On getting buy-in for research...

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A recap of Design Education Strategist Nikki Knox's AMA on personas and UX design. 

Don't let Personas get shelved

“What quantitative data do you have to back these personas up?” 

“We already know what our customers want. Our sales people are talking to them all the time.”

“Marketing has developed personas already. We can just use those.” 

(produces marketing segments and stereotypes rather than personas)

*crickets* Personas go on the shelf and are never heard from again.... 

 Heard something like this before?

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Personas are an amazing design tool, so how do we make sure they're being put to good use? 

Six (6!) new ways to push your practice

You asked. We answered. Bringing you SIX new workshops and courses in customer experience, brand strategy, leadership, product definition and design, research, ideation, personas and more—each chock full of skills for taking your professional game to the next level (and maybe even the level above that). Stay current, get smarter, make an impact, effect the bottom line, and teach your team a thing or two (or ten) about your new-found knowledge. We've saved you a seat.

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Planets Don't Have Orbits

 

 

I heard an argument forwarded by Andrew Hinton way back in Dublin at the Inteaction12 conference. The short form goes like this: "Users don't have goals." (UDHG for short.) Being a big believer in Goal-Directed Design, I thought the argument to be self-evidently flawed, but since it came up again as a question from a student at my Cooper U class in Berlin, I feel I ought to address it.

Are there, in fact, goals?

Given just those four words, it seems like it might be about users actually not having goals. But of course, goals do exist. If they didn't, why would anyone get out of bed in the morning? Or do work? Or make conference presentations? If we didn't have goals, nothing would be happening in the world around us. But of course we do we do get out of bed. We do work. We write blog posts. All because we have reasons which—for clarity—we call goals. This example illustrates that what UDHG really means that most people don't have explicit goals.

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I heard an argument forwarded by Andrew Hinton way back in Dublin at the Inteaction12 conference. The short form goes like this: "Users don't have goals." (UDHG for short.) Being a big believer in Goal-Directed Design, I thought the argument to be self-evidently flawed, but since it came up again as a question from a student at my Cooper U [...]

Persona Empathy Mapping

“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”

- Theodore Roosevelt

Empathy -- it’s a buzzword in the UX design world. Everybody’s doing it! But what exactly are they doing? There isn’t a quick “Empathy Filter” that we can apply to our work or our team, no formula to pump out results, and no magic words to bring it forth. There is, however, a simple workshop activity that you can facilitate with stakeholders (or anyone responsible for product development, really) to build empathy for your end users. We call it Persona Empathy Mapping.

Empathy Mapping helps us consider how other people are thinking and feeling. Typically, research notes are categorized based on what the research interviewees were thinking, feeling, doing, seeing, and hearing as they engaged with your product. It helps your team zoom out from focusing on behaviors to consider the users’ emotions and experience as well. I first learned about it from Dave Gray’s Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers and Changemakers and it’s gotten more press lately due to Alex Osterwalder’s book, Business Model Generation.

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“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”- Theodore RooseveltEmpathy -- it’s a buzzword in the UX design world. Everybody’s doing it! But what exactly are they doing? There isn’t a quick “Empathy Filter” that we can apply to our work or our team, no formula to pump out results, and no magic words [...]

Barry the Blog Post...

...or, Why Silly Names Make Silly Personas, and 8 Tips to Getting Your Personas Named More Effectively

You’ve seen them before and unfortunately, you’ll see them again. Personas with names like Sarah the Security-Minded, Adam the Artist, Gloomy Gus, or Uzziah the Uppity Unix User. (Wait. You don’t have a persona named Uzziah?)

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.”
—Romeo & Juliet, Act II scene 2

A quick word about doing this sort of thing. Don’t. On one level, sure, it works. The alliteration helps you remember both the name and the salient characteristic that that persona is meant to embody. Who was Gus? Oh that’s right. The gloomy one.

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...or, Why Silly Names Make Silly Personas, and 8 Tips to Getting Your Personas Named More Effectively You’ve seen them before and unfortunately, you’ll see them again. Personas with names like Sarah the Security-Minded, Adam the Artist, Gloomy Gus, or Uzziah the Uppity Unix User. (Wait. You don’t have a persona named Uzziah?) “What's in a name? That which we [...]

Inside Goal-Directed Design: A Conversation With Alan Cooper (Part 2)

We continue our conversation with Alan Cooper at Sue and Alan’s warm and welcoming ranch in Petaluma, CA, which, in addition to themselves, is home to sheep and chickens, a cat named Monkey, and a farmer who works the land.

Part 2 brings us up to present-day, and discussions around the applications and fundamentals of Goal-Directed Design that support its success at Cooper and beyond.

From Theory to Practice­­

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We continue our conversation with Alan Cooper at Sue and Alan’s warm and welcoming ranch in Petaluma, CA, which, in addition to themselves, is home to sheep and chickens, a cat named Monkey, and a farmer who works the land. Part 2 brings us up to present-day, and discussions around the applications and fundamentals of Goal-Directed Design that support its [...]

Zoom Out—It's Not Just About the Product.

Bay Area Video Coalition alumni Amy Li attended Cooper U's Interaction Design course in May. After 4 days of user research, synthesis, and persona and scenario creation, here are the some of the powerful concepts and practices she learned from Cooper U.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend Cooper U’s Interaction Design course. This extensive four-day course explored many techniques and practices useful to designers, developers, marketers, project managers, and design enthusiasts. Here are some concepts and tips that resonated with me.

Your product doesn’t work in a vacuum.

Understanding the product ecosystem helps designers see the bigger picture and the elements that will be affected by their design, such as who will use it, where, and in what situation.

Creating the product ecosystem helps establish the product domain and identifies design opportunities, challenges and unexpected connections.

To create a product ecosystem, designers should seek answers to these questions:

  • Who might this product affect?
  • What kinds of activities and actions might be related?
  • What are some unique places where the product might be used?
  • What trends and technologies might be leveraged for this product?

After a designer understands the product domain, their next step is to ensure the design will be relevant and meaningful to the people who use it.

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Bay Area Video Coalition alumni Amy Li attended Cooper U's Interaction Design course in May. After 4 days of user research, synthesis, and persona and scenario creation, here are the some of the powerful concepts and practices she learned from Cooper U.Recently, I had the opportunity to attend Cooper U’s Interaction Design course. This extensive four-day course explored many techniques [...]

Explore New Interaction Paradigms at UX Boot Camp: Wikimedia

Advance and apply your UX design skills to a meaningful real-world problem in this intensive, hands-on workshop

BootCamp_WEB

This September, join Wikimedia, Cooper, and design-thinkers from around the world as we find new ways to spread knowledge through mobile Wikipedia. In this four-day workshop, you’ll use new UX skills to make mobile content contribution more approachable, intuitive, and less reliant on traditional input methods like typing. If you’ve wanted an excuse to explore new interaction paradigms and stay ahead of the design pack, this is your chance. Best of all, you get to do all of that in the creative classroom setting of Alan and Sue Cooper’s 50-acre ranch in Petaluma, CA.

Register now: UX Boot Camp: Wikimedia September 17-20, Petaluma, CA

What’s in it for you?

  • Learn new interaction techniques and approaches under the guidance of industry leaders, including Alan Cooper
  • Learn how to think through a problem from both a design and business perspective, rather than blindly applying methods by rote.
  • Energize your practice and make new connections by working on a real-world challenge with peers from around the world.
  • Beef up your portfolio with a smart, new design concept
  • Pick up leadership and collaboration skills that will help you better navigate your work environment.

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Advance and apply your UX design skills to a meaningful real-world problem in this intensive, hands-on workshopThis September, join Wikimedia, Cooper, and design-thinkers from around the world as we find new ways to spread knowledge through mobile Wikipedia. In this four-day workshop, you’ll use new UX skills to make mobile content contribution more approachable, intuitive, and less reliant on traditional [...]

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