What you can do with a persona

Designit Strategic Design
A free video tutorial from Designit Strategic Design
Design What Matters
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Design Thinking in 3 Steps

Understand your audience, envision a creative solution, and test your prototype

01:34:24 of on-demand video • Updated June 2020

  • Apply the design thinking framework to solve problems more creatively
  • Create prototypes to test your idea early, before making a big investment of time and money
  • Understand problems from the customer's perspective
  • Guide groups to effectively brainstorm innovative ideas
  • Plan and conduct effective design research, including user interviews
  • Make and use a storyboard to communicate your design ideas
  • Identify your design research objectives
  • Make a plan to iterate your idea forward
English [Auto] In the everyday world, you will find yourself constantly bombarded with constraints and requirements, in other words, things you can't do and things you must do. Generally speaking, these are far less binding than their advocates would have you think. Each idea has a constituent and each constituent has an idea and they will all insist that their way is indispensable. But if you follow all of these conflicting commands, you'll end up with some bloated, dysfunctional product that nobody likes. The only technique that will dependably lead you out of this dark forest of demands is to always view the problem through the eyes of the user. You've already talked to several typical users and you've created personas that represent their goals and motivations. So just put yourself in your persona's shoes and ask, does this must do or can't do? Get me to my goal. Let me give you an example. Suppose we have a persona, we'll call him Clyde. Part of his work is filling out Web forms. Now, the database guys have a requirement that they can't admit partially filled forms. So several fields are marked as mandatory, a constraint. But in your field study, you found that often Clyde doesn't have all the necessary information at one time. Clyde enters what he knows. But the form rejects it because of the empty fields. In order to force the system to do what he wants. Clyde has to enter random numbers into the required fields. The end result of the database guy's rules are that garbage data is encouraged, which is the exact opposite of what was wanted. And the only way to see this is to know Clyde exceptionally well and see the product the way he sees it. Now, if you remove the mandatory setting on those fields, you please Klodt, which is excellent, but now you can see that you need to help him to help the database guys. You need to design in tools that alert Clyde to those incomplete fields and make it easy to update them. Removing obstacles isn't good enough. You have to be proactive, making technology behave in a helpful and considerate manner. Only by delighting your persona can you ever have a hope of delighting the database guys.