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Modular Personas 

Authenticity is of utmost importance when it comes to personas. Our modular personas reveal true distinguishing behaviors among users to provide a clear picture of who is using a product or website, what they need, and why. The personas are backed with real photos, quotes, and video footage. Our work is inspired by the ever evolving and complex behavior of real life users themselves. The goal is to build accurate snapshots of these real human beings that will inspire companies and help guide innovation.

The Problem

Bad personas can make your skin crawl. The ones that offer no real insight into an audience and play make-believe with random facts are not useful in any context. Like with any good story, it’s difficult to create relatable characters and often what results is a persona full of B.S. and descriptions that don’t reflect true insights or behavioral differences.

Our Solution

First and foremost, we eliminate the bullshit from our personas. We use the essay, “Bullshit,” by Harry Frankfurt, to inspire us as to what we avoid as we develop modular personas. A bullshit persona will include things that are invented and do not matter. Our modular personas use names and groupings that really matter. We also rigorously adapt the persona concept to match the rapid change in the way media is consumed for learning. We aim to effectively highlight and communicate what is important: the core distinctions among users’ behaviors and needs.

Analysis

Our process draws heavily from the Stanford Design School’s human-centered methodology, and is influenced by strong expertise in linguistics and experience with Mental Models. Our method uses no names, psychology, or broad habits to describe the personas. We remove the things that don’t matter, even if they are true, from our personas. This allows us to get at the core needs and desires; in looking at user behavior, we ask “why” until we arrive at true distinctions and correlations in behavior and new insights for our clients.

Deliverables

Our deliverables range from engaging movie trailers to storybooks to detailed single-page view comparisons. Our goal is to enable our client to communicate the personas to their team in the most compelling and inspiring manner possible.