Personas: Designing Engaging Content for Customer Intimacy

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Personas: Designing engaging content for customer intimacy

Donn R. DeBoardMid-Atlantic Technical Communication Summit

March 26, 2011

About the presenter25 years in technical communications, specializing in software documentationSenior Information Developer, Vertex Inc. in Berwyn, PA2011 STC Associate FellowMultiple STC Summit Awards over 10 year periodJudge in local and international STC Summit Awards over 12 year periodInformation Architecture Institute Usability Professionals Association

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What about youShare a little about yourself.Share your reasons for coming to this conference. Any first time attendees here.Share your expectations for this session.

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AgendaWhat are personas?Documentation development lifecycle and personasPersonas and shared understandingPersonas and customer intimacyPersona development lifecycleAn example personaQuestions & answers

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Defining termsUser experience (UX) "a person's perceptions and responses that result from the use of a product, system or service. (ISO 9241-210).Customer intimacy close partnership, intertwined relationship (DNA).Preferred content content of first choice.

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What are personas? Introducing personas Why are personas important? The missing link Technical Communication Body of

Knowledge (TCBOK)

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Introducing personas

Like characters on a stage, personas are not actual people.Personas are fictitious, specific, and concrete representations of target users. (Aldin/Pruitt) Personas help address the needs of a large group of customers by focusing on a fictional representation.

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Introducing personasPersonas are User-Centered Design tools that put a face on your user. Personas illustrate a users story using your product, service, or content.Summarize your user research findings to understand your target audience. (Jahagirtdar and Martin)Represent a type of user. Includes a concise summary of general characteristics of the user, goals and tasks, and pain points. (UPA-BOK)

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Persona communityCommunity of people who use your product, service, or content.Context and motivation.Primary persona.Secondary persona.Stakeholders persona.Focus on 1-3 personas, prioritized for importance.

(Olsen)

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Why are personas important?Technical communicators use audience analysis and skill requirements.Skills to use software in perfect world.Focuses only on what users do, but not how, when, and why.Provides one dimensional understanding.

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The missing linkNo real-world context or motivation.Missing the day-in-the-life description of customer.Missing real-world factors that impact how customers use your content (multiple projects, priorities, stress).

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Technical Communication Body of Knowledge (TCBOK)

STC Technical Communication Body of Knowledge (TCBOK)

http://tcbok.editme.com/PersonasSTC interviewed members to create personas. Fictional representations for STC TCBOK.Review the persona community for TCBOK.Show persona for Senior Technical Writer.

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A sampling of TCBOK PersonasCaroline Landry: Lead Writer in a Company Moving into International MarketsConsuela Roehl: Technical Communicator Whose Responsibilities are Being OutsourcedEric Hernandez: High School Student Planning Technical Communication Career

Jimmy Chin: College Student Planning Technical Communication CareerKate Watkins: Information Development Manager Creating a Technical Communication Department for the CompanyLinda Atesh: IT Practitioner Wanting to Change to a Technical Writer CareerRandy Green: Technical Writer Wanting to Stay Current

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Caroline, Senior Technical WriterClick to edit Master text styles

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Caroline scenariosClick to edit Master text styles

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Caroline tasksClick to edit Master text styles

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Personas and TCBOK UXPersonas in TCBOK are:

Development tool to create TCBOK.

Navigation tool to help users find information.

Personas are a bridge between target audience for TCBOK and content on site.

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A closer look: your thoughts?

Questions?Comments?

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Documentation Lifecycle and personas Beginning with personas Sources for customer research Stages of Documentation Development

Lifecycle (DDL) Path to preferred content

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Beginning with personas

Customer research helps frame your customers story performing tasks using your product, service, or content.What does a day-in-the-life of your customer look like?Talk to customer-facing staff to identify and understand customers.

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Sources for customer research

Customer facing staff (Sales, Consulting, Product Support)Conference callsSocial mediaFocus groupsSurveysSite visitsDocumentation mailbox

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Storytelling Stories in UX

Explain research ideas.Engage the imagination and spark new ideas.Create shared understanding.Persuade.

(Quesenbery/Brooks)

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StorytellingStories: Personas in motionProvide context.Provide motivation/goals.Type of stories.

Context or situation.

Springboard stories (typical predicament).

Points of pain stories.

(Quesenbery/Brooks)

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Bill, the Programmer personaProgrammers GuideDesign, code, and test programs, systems analysis. Juggling multiple, high priority projects. Time is at a premium.Wants quick overview material with ability to scan for details. Does not read dense material.Technology savvy, uses RSSs.Likes online help.

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Stages of Documentation Development Lifecycle (DDL)

Requirements analysisDocumentation planningWritingReviewingProductionArchiving

(Jahagirdar & Martin)

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Benefits of personas for documentation

Focuses writers on users and their goals.Encourages consensus among stakeholders and SMEs for content and level of detail.Enables all stakeholders to make better decisions.Provides ongoing connection point to customers.

(Jahagirdar & Martin)

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Path to preferred contentPersonas provide a more focused view of customer.Your content can connect more closely with real-world customer work context.More focused content enhances customer success in performing a real-time task.

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A closer look: your thoughts?

Questions?Comments?

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Personas andshared understanding Personas as prism of focus across your

organization Engage stakeholders in the fabric of persona

attributes

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Personas as prism of focusacross your organization

Articulate antidotal knowledge about customer.Identify misconceptions about customer.Identify gaps in understanding customer.Breaks down silos of customer knowledge within organization.

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Engage stakeholders in the fabric of persona attributes

Encourages clear communication, open dialogue, and collaboration. as part of customer service.Brings customers to stakeholder conversations for product decisions.All organizational stakeholders can contribute to personas, based on their experience.

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Personas as tool for customer intimacy Customer intimacy starts with personas Personas as avenue for ongoing dialogue

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Customer intimacy startswith personas

Personas demonstrate you want to understand the customers world on a deeper level.Personas show active commitment to customer success.Personas show integrity of effort in applying knowledge to design of product and service.

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Personas as avenuefor ongoing dialogue

Customer dialogue encourages trust and a more intimate partnership.Partnership with customer opens new avenues for innovative solutions and increased engagement.Co-develop product, services, or content with customer community.

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A closer look: your thoughts?

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Questions?Comments?

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Persona Development Lifecycle Persona family planning Persona conception and gestation Persona birth and maturation Persona adulthood Persona lifetime achievement, reuse, and

retirement

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1. Persona family planningIdentify the business problem or need to be solved.Identify the user research and data sources that paint picture of customer.Form cross-functional team to create personas.

(Aldin/Pruitt)

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2. Personas conception and gestation

Define number of personas needed.Define the qualities and descriptive elements to include.Prioritize and validate personas.Decide when personas are complete.

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3.Personas birth and maturationUCD: Include needs and wants of end users of a product or service at each step of the design process. Introduce personas and the method for creating them to your organization.Maintaining foundation documents to track evolution of personas.

(Aldin/Pruitt)

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4. Personas adulthoodUse personas in support of your product or service:

Design.

Development.

Evaluation.

(Aldin/Pruitt)

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5.Personas lifetime achievement, reuse, and retirement

Measure success of persona effort in your project.Evaluate any reuse possibilities.Revise personas, as needed.Retire personas, as needed.

(Aldin/Pruitt)

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A closer look: your thoughts?

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Questions?Comments?

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A persona example Hangem High (HEH) for the iPad A brief walk-through for creating and

applying personas

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Clark Software Inc.About ClarkClark Software Inc. is a Los Angeles-based company that specializes in game software.Clark is among the top 15 gaming companies in U.S.Clark wants to broaden global customer base.Research shows a new hangman craze that is the latest rage among college students.

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Hangem High (HEH) for the iPadClarks Family Planning

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Identify business and user experience goals for HEH.Identify brand goals for HEH.Identify important differentiators for HEH.Millennial generation (born in the 1980s and are now ages 18-28) are target audience.

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1. Family Planning for Hangem High (HEH)

Business goals:Create initial downloads of 500K in first week.

Capture 20% U.S. college market by year end.

Capture 10% European college market by year end.

User experience goals: Engaging entertainment plus increasingly complex learning levels.

Interactive and challenging: Play against iPad or another person.

Introduce unexpected treats or Easter eggs within levels of play.

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2. Persona conceptionfor Hangem High (HEH)

Identify ad hoc personas.Use baseline knowledge and existing assumptions about a target user.Starting point for conversation.Confirm and adjust as you gather more user data.Add target user needs and wants.

(Aldin/Pruitt)

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Ad hoc personas for Hangem High (HEH)

Stage of life How games fit in

Current college student.Recent college graduate or new professional in early stages of career. Young professional who has been working for 3+ years.

Occasional game player.Social or recreational game player.Competitive game player.Obsessive game player.

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Persona conceptionfor Hangem High (HEH)

Gather data about target user.

Process source data about target user.Demographics.Technological.Internet usage.Environments.Lifestyle.Roles.Goals.Needs.Desires.Tasks. (Jahagirdar and Martin)

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Cluster data into categoriesKey demographic

assumptionsKey assumptions

about games Millennials are very tech savvy and expect transparency in accessing various technologies. A very wired generation.Millennials want high interactivity and engagement with the use of technology.

(S. Klime)

Video games, iPads, cell phones: games are available anytime, anywhere.High level of interactivityNeed a high level of the unexpected during game.Social event for many.

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Persona conception for Hangem High (HEH)

Create skeletons.Skeletons are short, bulleted list of data for each category of user. Skeletons :

Help you transition to specific details.

Demonstrate key findings of user research/discussions to stakeholders.

(Aldin/Pruitt)

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Skeletons for Hangem High (HEH)Tom, current college student:

Male, age 18-21.

Talks games with friends - social forum.

Play games with friends, mostly remotely through iPad.

Uses iPad to access Internet on the go.

Games are almost around the clock entertainment alone or in small groups.

Ann, young working professional:

Female, age 21-24.

Played more games in college, now only occasionally or with her old college friends.

3 + years work experience.

Beginning to focus on career.

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Persona gestationfor Hangem High (HEH)

Prioritize skeletons.

Gather stakeholders together to prioritize skeletons against business goals.Some key factors to evaluate:

Frequency of use.

Size of market.

Historical or potential revenue.

Strategic importance.

(Aldin/Pruitt)

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Persona gestationfor Hangem High (HEH)

Tom, current college student

Ann, young career professional

Clark stakeholders indicate that Tom:

Is typical of their gaming customers demographic.

Fits in to Clarks Games-on-the-Go campaign.

Represents a great revenue opportunity.

Clark stakeholders indicate that Ann:

Is a more secondary demographic.

May fit into Clarks Games-on-the-Go campaign with a focus on working professionals.

Represents a growth area for Clark.

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Persona gestationfor Hangem High (HEH)

Clark stakeholders selected Tom as the primary persona.Develop Tom skeleton into a persona.Tom persona is snapshot of this type of user.

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Persona gestationfor Tom (HEH)

Tom skeleton Tom, sketch personaTom, college student, age 18-25

Talks games with friends - social forum.

Play games with friends, mostly remotely through iPad.

Uses iPad to access Internet on the go.

Almost around the clock entertainment alone or in small groups.

Tom, 19, is a sophomore college student. He is a marketing major, which combines his energy for connecting with people with a hunger to use the latest technologies.

Tom goes to the Student Union between classes and plays HEH with friends across campus. He has a bet with a friend that he can reach HEH advanced level 5 today.

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Persona gestationfor Hangem High (HEH)

Validate personas.Review against original data sources.Customer facing employees or internal experts in your organization.Representative users can review each persona.Site visits for reality checks.Survey or interviews.

(Aldin/Pruitt)

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3. Persona Birth and Maturationfor Hangem High (HEH)

First steps with personasIntroduce User Centered Design (UCD) and concept/benefits of personas.Target audience for HEH:

Development

Marketing

Executive Leadership

Documentation

Assign a handler or manager for each persona.Team feedback enhances persona details.(Adlin/Pruitt)

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Persona Birth and Maturationfor Hangem High (HEH)

Get ready for personas! Create some energy about personas within your company.

Posters or give-aways

One-page persona descriptions

Persona communication constellation - show how product or service connects to personas.Create central repository for a personas.Executive summary map.

(Adlin/Pruitt)

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4. Persona Adulthoodfor Hangem High (HEH)

Introducing TomThe Tom persona becomes an active participant in product, service, or content design.The Tom persona should be used in:

Product planning

Exploring design decisions

Evaluating design decisions

Supporting the product

(Adlin/Pruitt)

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Persona Adulthoodfor Hangem High (HEH)

Tom and documentationYoure creating help for HEH application.Use Tom for a reality check.Based on Clark research, Tom wouldnt want:

Large help system.

Cumbersome guide in PDF format.

Paper job aids.

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Content for Tom

Interactive, game-like help.Deliver content via RSS, web, or Twitter.Short content snippets searchable FAQs.Online community of HEH gamers.Ability to contribute his content to help.Short videos Tom is a big YouTube fan.

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5. Persona lifetime achievement and retirement for Hangem High

Evaluate ROI for personas in project:

Were personas helpful?

Has user focus improved?

Has product improved?

Has process improved?

Actual cost for developing personas?

Reuse, revise, or retire?(Adlin/Pruitt)

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Persona lifetime achievement and retirement for Hangem High(HEH)

Tom served Clark Software well. They have become more user-centered as a company.Clark Software processes and individual team decisions were much more focused and deliberate.Clark saved a lot of development resources and delivered a better product.

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SummaryWhat are personas?Documentation development lifecycle and personasPersonas and shared understandingPersonas and customer intimacyPersona development lifecycleA persona example

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Questions & AnswersThanks for your attention and conversation.Any questions or comments?

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My contact informationl You are welcome to contact me

with questions and comments.l Email:

donn.deboard@vertexinc.com

l LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/donndeboard

l Twitter: @donndeboard

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For More Information(No byline). Storyboards, scenarios, Design Personas. Design Crux. http://www.dessigncrux.netfirms.comn/designex_storyboard.html.Adlin, Tamara and Jon Pruitt. Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas, Morgan Kaufmann and Elsevier, Inc. 2010. http://www.elsevierdirect.com.Cooper, Alan. Journal: A blog about design, business, and the world we live in. http://www.cooper.com/journal;/204/`1/using_personas_to_create_user.html.

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For More InformationEizans, Daniel. Context as a Content Strategy, Internet User Experience 2010, July 26, 2010.

http://www.slideshare.net/danieleizans/context-as-a-content-strategy-creating-more-meaningful-web-experiences-through-contextual-filtering.htm.Hughes, Mike. Personas as User Assistance and Navigation Aids. UXMatters,

http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2010/06/personas-as-u-assistance-and-navigation.html.

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For More InformationInteraction-Design Encyclopedia http://www.interaction-design.org/Jahagirtdar, Niranjan and Arun Joseph Martin. Using Personas During Design and Documentation, UX Matters, October 18, 2010.

http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2010/10/using-personas-during-design-and-documentation.htm.Kissane, Erin. A checklist for Content Work,

March 8, 2011. http://www.alistapart.com/articles/a-checklist-for-content-work/.

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For More InformationKlime, Susan. Engaging the Millennial: Augmented Reality and the Wired Generation. AOL/Luxlist. February 1, 2011.

http://www.luxist.com/2011/02/01/engaging-the-millennial-augmented-reality-and-the-wired-generat/Lepore, Traci. Personas: Explorations in Developing Deep and Dimensioned Character, UXMatters, August 23, 2010,

http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2010/08/personas-explorations-in--developing-a-deep-and-dimensioned-character.html.

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For More InformationLepore, Traci. Whats My Persona: Developing Deep and Dimensioned Character, UXMatters, September 7, 2009,

http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2009/09/whats-my-persona-developing-a-deep-and-dimensioned-character.htmlNeeman, Patrick. Whos Your Audience, Kenneth: The Value of Personas. Usability Counts. November 10, 2008.

http://www.usabilitycounts.com/2008/11/10/whos-your-audience-kenneth-the-value-of-personas.htm.

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For More InformationOlsen, George. Personas Creation and Usage Toolkit, 2004 http://www.interactionbydesign.com/presentations/olsen_persona_toolkit.pdfSpool, Jared. Three important Benefits of Personas, User Interface Engineering,

http://www.uie.com/articles/benefits_of_personas.htmTechnical Communication Body of Knowledge

http://stcbok.editme.com/

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For More InformationUsability Body of Knowledge

http://draft.usabilitybok.org/wiki/personaUsability.gov.

http://www./Usability.gov/methods/analyze_current/personas.htmlWalsh, Patrick C. Content Centered Design- A methodology (Part 2). July 13, 2010.

http://patrickcwalsh.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/content-centred-design-a-methodology-part-2/

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Slide 1About the presenterWhat about youAgendaDefining termsWhat are personas?Introducing personasIntroducing personasPersona communityWhy are personas important?The missing link

Technical Communication Body of Knowledge (TCBOK)A sampling of TCBOK PersonasCaroline, Senior Technical WriterCaroline scenariosCaroline tasksPersonas and TCBOK UXA closer look: your thoughts?

Documentation Lifecycle and personasBeginning with personasSources for customer researchStorytelling StorytellingBill, the Programmer personaStages of Documentation Development Lifecycle (DDL)Benefits of personas for documentationPath to preferred contentA closer look: your thoughts?Personas andshared understandingPersonas as prism of focusacross your organization

Engage stakeholders in the fabric of persona attributesPersonas as tool for customer intimacyCustomer intimacy startswith personasPersonas as avenuefor ongoing dialogue A closer look: your thoughts?Persona Development Lifecycle1. Persona family planning2. Personas conception and gestation3.Personas birth and maturation4. Personas adulthood5.Personas lifetime achievement, reuse, and retirement A closer look: your thoughts?A persona exampleClark Software Inc.Hangem High (HEH) for the iPad1. Family Planning for Hangem High (HEH)2. Persona conceptionfor Hangem High (HEH)Ad hoc personas for Hangem High (HEH)Persona conceptionfor Hangem High (HEH)Cluster data into categoriesPersona conception for Hangem High (HEH)Skeletons for Hangem High (HEH)Persona gestationfor Hangem High (HEH)Persona gestationfor Hangem High (HEH)Persona gestationfor Hangem High (HEH)Persona gestationfor Tom (HEH)Persona gestationfor Hangem High (HEH)3. Persona Birth and Maturationfor Hangem High (HEH)Persona Birth and Maturationfor Hangem High (HEH)4. Persona Adulthoodfor Hangem High (HEH)Persona Adulthoodfor Hangem High (HEH)Content for TomSlide 63Slide 64SummaryQuestions & AnswersMy contact informationFor More InformationFor More InformationFor More InformationFor More InformationFor More InformationFor More InformationFor More Information