Bringing the Design Process to Life

Following on from the YouTube generation and the use of creative videos as a communication medium, Product Managers should consider using videos during the development of their user personas.

Instead of using text and still graphics on paper to depict the primary persona of a new product, video is a great mechanism to stimulate thought and discussion during the development process. Video provides visual clues about your primary persona and the day-to-day life that they lead. The audio component further immerses you in the experience and serves to enhance your overall understanding of your persona’s goals and needs. Creating video personas provide a close to “real life” experience of “walking in the shoes” of the end user.

A video is a great way to illustrate to developers and engineers during those lengthy “product development workshops” the environment in which the product is consumed and more importantly, how the end product could be utilised. Going that extra mile and turning a “paper” persona into a video persona should not be an onerous task given the technology that we have access to these days.

So What is a Persona?

A persona is a fictitious person but represents the typical user of a service or product. The term was first coined by Alan Cooper in the 1980’s. The technique of creating a persona as a way to think like the users of a product, was developed in the software industry.

Why Use a Persona?

Simple. It helps you think like your end user. Hopefully, if you understand some of your end user’s traits and characteristics, you will make better decisions during the development and the design process.

Product Managers that have never used personas should consider using personas to guide them during the product requirements gathering process.