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A day in life of an AgileUX Practitioner: Personas

Posted by jc-Qualitystreet on 2011/03/08

Activity #2 of the Agile UX practitioner…
(See the Activity#1: Vision)

The Agile UX practitioner creates Personas collaboratively

A persona is a user-archetype, a fictional representation of target users you can use to help guide decisions about product, features, navigation, visual design…

Persona "Sophie" (for a french banking project) Contexts-Goals-Implications

Persona "Sophie" (for a french banking project) Contexts-Goals-Implications in an agile way. Personas workshop

Personas are an essential element of the product Vision envisioned at a strategy level. They represent the first sections of our Vision formula (from Geoffrey Moore): FOR (target for the product) …WHO (users’ needs), a key element of the famous elevator pitch.

The persona approach provides a team with a common and shared understanding of the users of a service or product (but also what they want, their behavior, their needs and expectations) in a very engaging format, easily linked to Agile User Stories.

In short, personas are a fantastic way to integrate real User Experience all along the product development project.

And this is the role of the Agile UX practitioner to  be the Personas promoter and to initiate their creation in collaboration with the Product Owner and the Team.

Create the Personas with Agile Teams

Everything starts at the beginning of the project, before sprint 1 (a sprint 0 or short exploration is an appropriate period for doing it). But, the persona approach requires mobilizing the entire team around it and should be envisioned collaboratively.

1 Prepare

  • Organize one or two workshops with the Product Owner  and various stakeholders in order to be aligned to the objectives and the approach, to identify data sources, to determine categories of people to interview (for example the core roles)
  • Inform the entire team of the process
  • Then collect data from various sources including user interviews.

2 Construct collaboratively

  • Analyze data (facts) in collaborative workshops using affinity diagram and identify variables then patterns
  • Create the Personas skeletons
  • Give birth to the personas (including storytelling, writting and visual design) using the format you prefer (formal or not)
  • Validate the results with various stakeholders
A Persona Template (more formal)

A Persona Template (more formal)

3 Communicate & Use

  • Include the Personas on the Information Radiator within the team environment
  • Link the Personas to User Stories
  • Use them as a prioritization tool (in the Product Backlog) and a designing tool (related to specific user stories)
  • If necessary, make a communication plan for marketing and sales activities: make a buzz!
Personas Ericsson Life in 2020

Personas Ericsson Life in 2020: Make the Buzz!

  • David Wesst said,

    This is a really great and well written walkthrough about UX tasks in an agile environment. I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the series!

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