I recently attended an interesting and interactive NPD learning event about using “Personas” to define product features. Very much like User Stories but made using ethnographic (field research) methods. Personas tell their story in terms of goals, the “why” and “how” of what they do. It’s not at all easy to be good at defining unique and evidence based personas, but the outcome is worth the effort.
The speakers introduced our personas by name, provided us Post-it notes, Sharpies and paper iPads. We broke into teams of 6-7. Our goal: to create a wireframe of a Tablet App front page appealing to the travel requirements of our assigned persona. In about 20 minutes, we were ready to showcase our work.
Here’s the interesting point>>throughout the designing, the teams remained focused on the person in the persona. Features, elements, text, flow were all designed with the persona’s needs top of mind. It was as if the persona was there with the team. There was a shared understanding of needs within the context of the persona’s world, and the outcomes were all awesome (and quite different).
I am a believer! By including personalities and behaviors of the buyer, early and often, into product decisions, teams will make great product design decisions.
Priority is to Satisfy the Customer.