Guerilla Personas and the Gentle Art of Design Defense

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Slides given at the 2008 IA Summit on low budget user research, design persuasion and persona construction

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  • 1.Guerilla Personas
    • Lorelei Brown
  • [email_address]

2. What Well Do Today

  • Meet each other
  • Personas - what they are & whats inside
  • Data sources & what you can learn
  • Putting it all together

3. Me

  • I work at a little agency
  • Mostly with non-profits & associations
  • Little budgets, big opinions
  • More content, less applications
  • IA is still a new frontier for clients

4. You are?

  • Innie or outie?
  • What kind of companies and clients?
  • Use personas?
  • Applications or content?

5. Part 1 History, Rules, Structure History, Rules, Structure 6. Origins

  • Print and TV Marketing audience segmentation
  • Demographics, buying habits, interests

7. Evolution

  • Cooper - About Face
  • Research based
  • Task oriented
  • Individual

8. Sample: Bob

  • Bob is 52 years old and works as a mechanic with an organisation offering road service to customers when their car breaks down. He has worked in the job for the past 12 years and knows it well. Many of the younger mechanics ask Bob for advice when they meet up in the depot as he always knows the answer to tricky mechanical problems. Bob likes sharing his knowledge with the younger guys, as it makes him feel a valued part of the team.Bob works rolling day and night shifts and spends his shifts attending breakdowns and lockouts (when customers lock their keys in the car). About 20% of the jobs he attends are complex and he occasionally needs to refer to his standard issue manuals. Bob tries to avoid using the manuals in front of customers as he thinks it gives the impression he doesn't know what he's doing.Bob has seen many changes over the years with the company and has tried his best to move with the times. However he found it a bit daunting when a new computer was installed in his van several years ago, and now he has heard rumours that the computer is going to be upgraded to one with a bigger screen that's meant to be faster and better.Bob's been told that he will be able to access the intranet on the new computer. He has heard about the intranet and saw once in an early version on his manager's computer. He wonders if he will be able to find out want's going on in the company more easily, especially as customers' seem to know more about the latest company news than he does when he turns up at a job. This can be embarrassing and has been a source of frustration for Bob throughout his time with the company.Bob wonders if he will be able to cope with the new computer system. He doesn't mind asking his grandchildren for help when he wants to send an email to his brother overseas, but asking the guys at work for help is another story.
  • Credit: Step Two

9. De-evolution

  • Makes the user relatable
  • Catalogs likes/dislikes/pains
  • Includes business goals
  • Some basis in reality

10. Personas focus

  • Commercials!
  • Tells a story everyone understands
  • Persuasive

11. New Rules

  • No rules!
  • Single person, multiple person
  • May not use demographics

12. You are a journalist

  • Get the eyewitness reports
  • Place it in context of larger events
  • Explain it so everyone understands
  • Remember the bias of your readership

13. The expert witness

  • Speculation to problem solving
  • What would Betty do?
  • How would Betty do this?
  • What do we want Betty to do?

14. Decision-Making 101

  • Decisions are rarely made on facts
  • Money, turf, emotion, perception
  • Number one driver: Fear

15. Personas are good at

  • Thinking about feasibility
  • Determining how to extend new services
  • How to repurpose content - whats new to you?

16. Shift conversations

  • How to what & why
  • Unites factions into a single front

17. Elements

  • One big need, several smaller common needs
  • Must dos and can dos
  • User method, mood, point of view

18. Traditional Personas

  • Photo
  • Tagline
  • Tasks
  • Demographics
  • Summary of research

19. Archetypical Attitudes

  • Seeker
  • Involved user
  • Passive user
  • Interpreter/storyteller
  • Advertiser
  • Sponsor
  • Decision maker
  • Outsider

20. Seekers

  • Are not interested in you,but may be interested in your subject
  • They have a HUGE untapped potential, once they see your value
  • Examples: casual shoppers, surfers, researchers

21. Involved

  • Involved users love you and may be your evangelist
  • Examples: Mac users, volunteers, campaign contributors

22. Passives

  • Passives are involved because they dont have anything else to do
  • Can suddenly realize they dont need you
  • They can be converted, carefully
  • Examples: people on auto-pay, email deleters

23. Interpreters

  • Interpreters tell your story to the world
  • Can be allies or adversaries
  • Examples: reporters, bloggers, raters

24. Deciders

  • Deciders are small & powerful - they determine if you are read, bought or used
  • Beware the assistant
  • Examples: policy makers, head of household, purchasing agent, CEO

25. Outsider

  • Outsiders are not interested in you or dont know about you - yet
  • Most powerful because there is the highest potential to expand a niche
  • Examples: Coming of age/eligibility

26. Advertiser/Sponsor

  • These users are looking for ways that your brand has affinity with theirs
  • Not a direct audience, but often give you money
  • Examples: ad buyer, grantmaker, individual donor

27. Mix-n-match

  • Seeker-sponsor = giving officer at a corporation foundation
  • Outsider-interpreter = gaming blogger whos telling people about the site she just found
  • Involved-sponsor = large stockholders, trustees

28. Tips: Tasks

  • Ask whos interested?
  • Whats the unmet need?
  • How can you meet it?
  • Who doesnt know they need it?

29. Tips: A/S/L/$$$

  • Age: internet behaviors or life stages
  • Race: language issues
  • Sex: outlook/interests
  • Income: Can get meaningless quickly

30. Tips: Names & Photos

  • Proper names and behaviors
  • James, the Seeker
  • James, 45 year old white male

31. Part 3 Data Sources Data Sources

  • Traffic, search, documents, the outside world

32. Bottom line

  • Some data is better than no data
  • Use what you have
  • No one piece is the grail - you put it together

33. If its happened...

  • Someone has studied it.
  • In detail.
  • With grant money.
  • Especially the Internet

34. Outside research

  • PEW Internet Life Project
  • Marketing journals - ClickZ
  • Government & NGOs
  • Foundations
  • Software companies

35. You may have

  • Traffic
  • Search
  • Products and services
  • Call center/info email/other interactions
  • Leaderships opinions

36. Daily Life Stats

  • US Census
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Foundations
  • Groups & Associations

37. Traffic Tells You

  • What happened, but notWhy
  • What changed
  • Needs analysis for externalities

38. Traffic: Bad Parts

  • Doesnt show leaf content well
  • Different programs measure differently
  • Assumes volume is best
  • Affinity is better

39. Traffic: Jackpot

  • External navigation
  • Provides some comparison to related sites

40. Traffic Haters

  • Business Owners
  • If my content were more prominent, it would get more traffic

41. Search

  • Can tell you what people want but dont see
  • The process that people go through to find something

42. Search Jackpot

  • Users vocabulary
  • What theyre looking for
  • Whats really popular
  • Whens its important

43. Search: Bad