Friday, April 25, 2008

Bring on personas

Personas were on my to do list before DigitalNow and now they just moved farther up the priority list. Tamara Adlin did a super job of communicating the strategic connection to personas. Personas provide focus and shared understanding. We often assume that everyone's perception of a prospective member or someone looking for career information is the same. It reminded me of a team building exercise where the facilitator asked everyone to image that their neighbor had just bought an expensive car. Everyone was asked to right down how much they thought the car cost. Then she went around the room and we each said what we had written down. That was an eye opener. Just saying expensive wasn't enough to have a shared understanding, we had to define expensive, just like we need to define our users (by the way she said user was a four letter word). I also loved her phrase, 'showing your corporate underpants', to describe Web design based on organizational structure. I'll be at the personal lab today working on hiding the corporate underpants.

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