So you've made some personas? Great, you understand the importance of putting your customers at the heart of business decisions. But that doesn't immediately make you a user-centred business just yet.
"Bill the Business Owner" isn't going to jump out of his persona poster to tell you which feature is a priority for him. You are Bill's ambassador, and you now have the resource at hand to help you and your colleagues make decisions on behalf of Bill.
There's lots of excitement and energy when creating them, but we often see that the after care is neglected. Once created, soon enough they're forgotten.
So how can you be the ambassador of your shiny new personas? How can you ensure that Bill lives a full life in your colleagues' minds, that he isn't just lost in the quagmire of your shared company folder, forever to be forgotten?
We've got 5 simple ways for you to integrate these personas into your business, making you not only Bill's hero, but also making you the ambassador of a user-centered business.
Time and time again I see clients invest in personas, but then don’t quite know what to do with them.
Quite simply, don't hide your personas in a shared drive or on your intranet, make them seen.
Put them up on walls where people will see them everyday, ideally in communal areas that people pass frequently.
In time, even posters on the wall will be ignored. So continue to introduce exciting and new ways to present the personas to keep it fresh.
Here are some examples of how you can do just that:
Personas are so valuable to businesses, they just need to be used in the right way to reap the benefits.
You'll be instrumental in getting your business to buy-in to the personas. Start with the basics, explain the value of personas to stakeholders, how they contribute to a user-centered business, and how they should be used.
Avoid a "ta da" moment - don't have a big reveal to stakeholders and then expect immediate uptake. Bring key stakeholders (the people you want to use them) along the journey with you.
Make sure all stakeholders have easy access to them, if they're hard to find, they won't use them.
Don’t have a big reveal to stakeholders and then expect immediate uptake. Bring key stakeholders (the people you want to use them) along the journey with you.
Identify how they can be vital to how you work. Here are examples when personas have been instrumental in our success:
Personas are living documents.
Don't carry out research one time and think you've learned everything there is to know. Continue to conduct research and learn about your customers, and keep updating the personas as you go.
Don't let them get old. We hear clients say "we did personas in 2015, they're dated now so we must create new ones". Don't let personas be stuck to a year, don't let them age and be seen as no longer relevant - keep evolving them.
Invite your team to review the personas and welcome stakeholder feedback.
Don't let the novelty wear off and don't let them be forgotten - talk about them, relentlessly.
Now you've got your personas, this is when the real fun begins! Personas are so valuable to businesses, they just need to be used in the right way to reap the benefits. You're well on your way to making this happen and making your business a user-centred one. Bill will be so pleased.
If you need any further advice or support, don't hesitate to get in touch!
Otherwise, good luck, and we hope you enjoy the path ahead of integrating personas into your business!
How exciting, let's get started