A few weeks ago my colleague Michelle Zassenhaus suggested we pitch the executive team on a persona research project. We discussed the need and merit of this project for a while without reaching a clear consensus. Where I was getting stuck was the need for this exercise given how much face time we actually have with our customers. We run usability testing every week. We call customers on an ad hoc basis but it amounts to nearly weekly conversations. The company has an annual focus group initiative and our customer service teams are always vocal with prevalent customer issues. In short, we know our users. So why would we need to create personas?
I posed the question to several folks including Tristan Kromer. Tristan suggested that instead of trying to sell the organization on an expensive project where they weren’t sure what they would be getting for their money and we, the UX team, couldn’t cohesively articulate why we were even doing it, we should introduce the executive team to the concept of personas as a corporate alignment tool. The idea seemed not only viable but also valuable. At the end of that lunch-time chat, I promised Tristan I’d write a blog post recapping the activity and its results. And so, here we are ☺ .