Personas

August 30, 2020

Introduction

Back in the fall of 2015, Hireology CEO Adam Robinson challenged the VP of Product and the UX team with a simple question: Knowing what we know now about our customer and how they use the product, what we build differently?

So the UX team flew to Chicago, got together in a small room with our Product VP at the local tech incubator, and set to work figuring out who are existing users were and what they were doing.

Over the course of several hours, we were able to map out four main users, the tasks they wanted to accomplish, and the moments where these individual users may want to be able to communicate with each other.

Validation

From there, we started giving the personas identities. We used the tried and true alliteration naming technique, creating Manny the Man Upstairs, Ida the Implementor, Farrah the Facilitator, and Carl the Conductor. We assigned pictures as well as the roles that they would most likely be found in within our customer’s businesses.

Once these were in place, it was time to validate. We worked with our Customer Success team to identify potential users we could speak with, as well as dug into user behaviors using the data we had in hand. This gave us an opportunity to build empathy maps of each persona to help our fellow Hireologists have a better understanding of our users.

In Practice

As we were doing all of this, we were also starting to use these persona names in our discussions, both within the Product team as well as with the rest of the company. As time went on, the entire organization began to use the personas to help form a common language to talk about a particular user:

  • “We have a business review meeting with Susan. She is an Ida.”
  • “This Farrah is having trouble scheduling an interview.”

This allowed anyone in the company to immediately identify where this person was in relationship to their own company and how they were most likely using the app. The use of these names became so common place that we ended up printing out the empathy maps and hanging them on the wall in the office.

Conclusion

The development of these personas and their usage by the company has been one of my proudest accomplishments during my time with Hireology. I always smile when I hear our CEO talk about a Carl he met or our Marketing team target email campaigns to Idas.