Scrum Agile Project Management

Using Personas to Support User-centered Design

If some consider Scrum as an Agile project management framework, many people consider that is is more a product management approach. Anyway, Scrum is about understanding the need of the customers to deliver value. In this context, the concept of “personas” can be used to support user-centered design throughout a product development cycle by focusing on the characteristics of key user segments.

The article of Aurora Harley starts with a definition of the concept of persona: “A persona is a fictional, yet realistic, description of a typical or target user of the product. A persona is an archetype instead of an actual living human, but personas should be described as if they were real people. The description should be thorough, including details about the persona’s needs, concerns, and goals, as well as background information such as age, gender, behaviors, and occupation.” The article provides an example of such description.

The article explains that personas should be created as soon as possible and that they should be created by the team. The involvement of the team in the creation process allows to make them aware of user research data and to have a better confidence of the persona with the contribution of their own input. Each piece of information of the persona should affect the final design or help make decisions easier. The conclusion is that “The main benefit of using personas is that they create a common, more precise vocabulary for describing a certain type of user and thus focus design efforts on a common goal. In meetings, the persona’s name acts as shorthand for the full set of attributes, desires, and behaviors that need to be considered when making design decisions.”

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1 Comment on Using Personas to Support User-centered Design

  1. Great article there… User Stories ensure that the customer requirements are clearly depicted and are understood by all the key internal and external stakeholders including the Scrum Team who deliver the outputs of the project.

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