UX pro Jason Crane presents an interesting approach to lean persona development on his snapperwolf.com site in this post “How to create a lean persona.” Although the output seems “light” (IMHA) from a strategic perspective, the point seems more to be about speed of execution. He offers a few steps to building and using lean personas – ones that could give you a quick start to using, then refine over time. Good tips.
The web site and product usability smarty-pantses at User Interface Engineering – Jared Spool & Co. – are long-time thought leaders on the creation and use of personas. The UIE site contains a wealth of reference, tips, good ideas and best practices for creating and using personas.
UIE has a number of great articles, posts and other content on personas. A few good ones:
- This list of persona related articles and posts (which contain a few of the links that follow) is a good starting point, but doesn’t list *all* of their great ideas. Dig deeper and follow the links within the articles to uncover more great reference material. You can also use their built-in Google site search to see *everything* persona-related on UIE, although with 400+ search results, there’s almost too much to consume in one sitting.
- Travel back in time more than a decade to read UIE’s Personas and Goal-Directed Design: An Interview with Kim Goodwin for some great points that stand the test of time. This is a solid piece from well before the current buzz about buyer personas and content marketing.
- Perfecting Your Personas is another great oldie-but-a-goody on the UIE site from way back in 2005. In it, Kim Goodwin presents some great best practices for developing personas — something anyone creating personas could use as a great litmus test.
- Five Factors for Successful Persona Projects and The Essence of a Successful Persona Project, both written by Jared Spool, are packed with the kind wisdom he typically endows on any subject he writes about. These both contain great ideas on approaching persona development projects. And, not only does Mr. Spool share great thoughts on what to do, he also offers great advice on what not to do with 5 Ways To Suck Value Away From Your Persona Projects.
- Last, but not least, is this great piece, Crappy Personas vs. Robust Personas in which Mr. Spool – a bit snarky of tone – digs down to uncover the underlying sentiment that motivates THIS site (persona-template.com) — to dig through the haystack of fluffy persona templates to find a few robust needles.
Nice work, UIE. Nice work.
Props to HubSpot for providing some useful “how to” info about creating personas in their free*** persona template and instructions: “The Marketer’s Guide to Creating Buyer Personas.” The template (in .PPTX format) is a reasonably good resource, although it doesn’t quite live up to my high standards for being a strategic tool. It’s better than nothing, and better than the usual fluff template. It would be a good starting point to build on.
*** It’s “Free” but you’ll have to submit your contact information in order to get your paws on it.