Workshop Exercises: Understand, Frame

Prototype Persona

Craft specific archetypical profiles of who you are designing for and why

Illustration of Prototype Persona
Run a Prototype Persona play

Prep time
1-2 hours

Run time
60-90 minutes

Group size

Why: Humanize user research data to better guide daily design decisions

When: Useful to align team members around user needs, and foster empathy in the design process

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

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Instructions for running this play

  1. Explain each section of the persona template:
    Name, role, and face: It is easier to relate to personas when they look as if they represent a real person.
    Behavioral demographic: Demographic information that is likely to impact user behavior.
    Needs, desires, wants & pains: The user’s motivations, fears, and aspirations related directly or indirectly to your product or service.
    Possible tasks and scenarios: The persona will come to life and only has real value when you start thinking about how the person acts in specific situations in relation to your product or service.
  2. If you already have done Value Proposition Mapping or Empathy Mapping for your customer segments, then make them more concrete using the persona template.
  3. Let the group specify entirely new personas or personas based on your existing customer segments.
  4. Playback your personas to gather feedback and make updates. Consider using Perfection Game or Plus/Delta exercises for gathering feedback.

Tips to perfect this play

Master and adapt the play to fit your context and needs.

Tip: Prior research

Allocate 1-2 hours for gathering user research data and preparing materials prior to the workshop

Tip: Follow up with journeys

Use the persona profiles as a basis for mapping user journeys or creating empathy maps

Tip: Validate the result

Validate the prototype personas with actual users through user interviews or feedback sessions to ensure their accuracy and relevance.

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Relieve initial group awkwardness and establish a safe space

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