Personas are a great way to present your results of your field work in a visual way. Normally, a persona is an archetypical description of customers or users. But many personas out there are useless and do not help to understand a certain customer group at all. The problem with "normal" personas is that someone made it up and they do not represent a real person. We are using personas in a different way. That is why we sometimes also call them customer cards. We use personas to summarize results from qualitative field research. In many cases, it is a tough job to summarize several interviews in just one stereotype without having contradictions. The resulting personas can be pretty unnatural and hard to imagine in the further Business Design process. Therefore, we just pick one or two "natural" customers who represent their segment and present him / her by using a persona / customer card including not less than:
- Key statement
- Job(s) to get done statement
- Reference to the represented segment
- Relevant demographics
- Picture of the person (if possible)
- Discussed / observed / experienced customer journey
- Positive and negative emotions during that journey
- Ideas from the person or the interviewer based on the journey
Based on the type, dimension and results of your field work you may extend the persona / customer card:
- Picture story of a certain process
- Pictures of relevant locations like a room, garden, office space, etc.
- Pictures of relevant furniture, tools, software, etc.
- Other discussed / observed / experienced customer journeys
- Contradictions within one segment can be outlined by adding a box "What others said"
- Present results from your field work to your team
Instruction for Coaches
- The most important part of personas / customer cards are direct quotes. On the one hand they show that our persona is a real person and on the other hand they really help your team to understand the person even though they've never seen him / her before.
- Encourage your team to take a lot of pictures during the field work with the consent of the interviewed / observed person. Real pictures are always better than stock images. But stock images better than no images
Many personas out there are useless and do not help to understand a certain customer group at all.