The Power of Personas

Personas often play an important part in the design process we apply in our projects and last night at the Sydney Atlassian User Group meeting I ran a 30 minute persona design session. It was a fantastic turn out for the night (I’m sure most people came along to check out Atlassian’s new Sydney office) and I ended up with a large crowd of people wanting to have a go at creating personas.

What are Personas?

They are a small group of semi-fictional characters created from user research that are intended to represent the full extent and natural types of user behaviour in a given context. Each persona has a set of ‘goals’ which specify what they wish to achieve in using a system. We use personas and goals to help simplify complex user research into a meaningful and usable form that a design team and other stakeholders can easily engage with.

This user group session was a follow up to my Atlassian Summit presentation, where I explained in more detail about the role of using personas in the successful adoption of social platforms like Confluence:

Last year I also ran a persona session in Canberra as part of World Usability Day (organised and hosted by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship). Depending on our availability, if you can provide a venue we would also be happy to facilitate a public hands on persona design session in your city next time.

Or if you are interested in using personas or other design thinking techniques to inform the design of your social media strategy or an enterprise social software solution, please let us know.