Virtual Seminar

Building Robust Personas in 30 Days or Less

November 2007

90 minutes


When design teams take advantage of personas, they see faster development times and better quality products. The entire team is on the same page, resulting in designs that satisfy the actual needs of real users.

However, if you've never developed personas before, the task ahead can look daunting and overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. Based on UIE's research into state-of-the-art development practices of today's most successful teams, you can learn the secrets to building robust personas in 30 days or less.

In this presentation, usability and design expert, Jared M. Spool, will walk through an easy-to-accomplish 30 day plan for developing your own persona-based scenarios. He'll tackle each of the four development stages: gathering the field research, analyzing the data, building the personas and their scenarios, and integrating the results into the development process. You'll learn how to be up and running with your own personas with only a small team and some easy-to-acquire resources.

Gathering the Field Research: Quality results from field research doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming. With the right preparation and an attentive team, you can quickly and easily collect valuable data in less than a week. Jared will show you how to decide how many folks to visit, who they should be, and how to prepare for meeting them. He'll talk about the best ways to collect information and how to best involve other team members.

Analyzing the Data: With a few simple techniques, we can quickly organize the seemingly chaotic field data into the coherent patterns we need to create our personas and their scenarios. Jared will demonstrate several techniques from the analysis toolkit, including pair-wise comparisons, KJ Analyses, and weighted charts. He'll show you quick and easy methods for sorting, organizing, and identifying the trends and insights you discovered in your study.

Building the Personas and Their Scenarios: By taking good notes and following a few simple steps, writing up the personas can be both fast and fun. Jared will show you how robust personas utilize the elements uncovered in the research and analysis, making their creation easily flow from your pen (or keyboard). Jared will walk through several effective techniques for readying your insights about your users and their needs.

Integrating Personas into the Development Process: The best teams have a ready-made plan as to how they'll infuse their newly created personas and scenarios directly into the existing development process. When integrated well, the personas and scenarios become an important tool for almost every part of the development process, helping ensure the product managers, developers, designers, writers, and quality folks are all measuring the design against the right standards. Jared will share techniques you can use immediately to introduce the personas, walk through the scenarios, and ensure they become fixture of your development process.

As with all of the UIE Virtual Seminars, you'll get a complete handout with plenty of examples and an opportunity to ask Jared those burning questions about how to do this well in your environment. And after this seminar, you'll have the tools in hand to build your own robust personas, in 30 days or less.

This seminar is for any designer, developer, usability professional, or project manager who wants to learn how to improve their design team's productivity with simple and proven techniques.