Using Personas and Storytelling Effectively

Every design starts with a question: how can we do something better? In UX, the goal is not just great functionality, but a great experience. And today, that experience is more and more a part of daily life, not an isolated task. Users move from social messages to web sites to phones, jumping across platforms and apps.

In this intensive workshop, you'll learn ways to use personas and stories throughout a UX process. You'll practice ways to create and share snapshots of users that cut across the complexity of context, attitudes and behavior, and how to use them with your team to design with a better view of users in mind.

What You'll Do

You will spend the day working with personas and stories, trying out techniques that you can bring back to your team. We'll work through a project from user research to evaluation, exploring different ways to use "story thinking" to stay grounded in the research—and brainstorm new ideas. By the end of the day, you will have examples and ideas for how to add stories to your own process.

You'll work individually and in teams to explore different ways to use personas effectively, and how to write stories for them, including:

  • Collecting stories for personas that make a compelling case for user needs
  • Writing useful personas: identifying the details that make them "sing"
  • First person stories and third person stories, which to use when
  • Exploring the stories behind the data from analytics, user research, search
  • Team role playing to explore your product through your personas
  • Sketching with stories. Using words and images to explore ideas
  • Using stories to explore ways to transform pain into pleasure (and success)
  • Using story structures for impact
  • Choosing the right style and tone
  • Using personas in reviews, walk-throughs, and usability testing

What You'll Learn

  • How to use personas throughout your UX process
  • New activities you can use with your team and stakeholders
  • Different ways to create persona stories to optimize their impact
  • Easy techniques you can apply immediately to your own work

And you will leave with your own copy of Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design and the UX Story Cards to help you make those stories even better.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is for experienced UX practitioners, including researchers and designers. It will also be helpful for anyone with experience leading product design teams who wants to integrate user perspectives into their work more effectively.