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The annoying personas

Some say that objectives should be SMART, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. But goals should also be (to be really useful) something you could say a NOT in front of and it still makes sense. This is the reason I like the agile manifesto: it says for example Working software OVER documentation. Since someone could argue that a lot of documentation is more important than working software, this statement becomes so important.

When creating personas, I would argument that the same rules apply: in order for personas to be useful they must be so formed that you cannot please them all with your features. This is one of the reasons I like our personas: they are based on our segmentation model which stresses motives and personality. It is so easy to fall back to different types of users, defining them as people. But a person is more than his user behavior. He has values and motives.

A couple of days ago, we were working on a number of functions and how our personas interact with these functions. I was taking the role of one of the personas and I often ended up with not seeing the value with that function in this role. Suddenly one of the participants just stated:

– I don’t like that X. He’s arrogant and grumpy.

And there you go. Some people are like that when they are interacting with your brand, your product and your functions. If all your personas are likable in all situations and they always love all your features, I think you’re missing out on some of the real values of personas.

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Categories: Agile
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