K2 produces industry-leading process automation software. It originated 20 years ago in South Africa, grew into a global corporation, and its technology has been accepted as a backbone by companies like Microsoft and Starbucks. I'm grateful to have been recruited by this team, and hired into the most talented Design Team I've met to date.
The Process
On day two at my new job with K2, I sat with my Design Manager to discuss my first project as a Senior UI Designer. I learned that K2 was becoming deeply committed to UX in the design of their process automation software suite and that Product Personas were a big missing piece of the puzzle for the Product Team. Personas are a part of the UX Design process that is notoriously challenging. The Design Manager explained that Personas were a project they had just never gotten off the ground.​​​​​​​

 1. I arrange to interview key K2 staffers who understand our customers and users. It's important to note that Product Personas have both customers (decision-makers who are key in the purchase of the SaaS product but may not use it much), and users (Engineers, Designers, and App Users). These different people can have many different needs. I prepare questions that will help me to determine who these individuals are and how to roughly describe each person's needs.

2. After meeting with key K2 staffers, I've determined 5-7 unique Personas, and now I need to expand on their descriptions and needs. When developing personas, I usually include the following common: Persona name, Photo, Demographics (gender, age, location, marital status, family), Goals and Needs, Frustrations (or “Pain Points”), Bio (or "Behaviors"), Bits of Personality (e.g. a quote or slogan that captures the personality).

At this point in the design phase, it's important to begin to encourage buy-in, and a sense of ownership in the individuals who are helping to refine these personas. I want them to feel a sense of pride and ownership in contributing to their part of the process. Once I'm confident that my content is solid, and signed off by all, I make an effort to purpose variations on my original poster design in ways that can be used in presentations, online banners, and even Avatars and Product UI elements.
The Result
​​​​​​​The goal of developing personas is to truthfully recognize your customer, then genuinely include them in every decision you make. I've had many occasions when teammates have reached out to say that they purposefully used certain personas in their recent presentations. They spoke of them by name. What a tremendous joy. That is exactly what Personas are for.

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