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Applying Personas in Business analysis, development and testing

How to exploit Personas approach to improve testing data, team empathy and motivation towards working on the application from unknown domain.

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Applying Personas in Business analysis, development and testing

  1. 1. Applying Personas in Business Analysis, Development and Testing Zahhar Kirillov Technical project manager
  2. 2. • Zahhar Kirillov, MSc in IT management • Joined EPAM in 2016 • Background: – web-developer – CIO – partner at UX consultancy • Current role: Technical project manager • Working in Zürich on client’s side WHO AM I?
  3. 3. 1. What are Personas? 2. What kind of projects benefit more from using Personas? 2. How different roles could benefit from using Personas? 4. Tips to create meaningful Personas and use them at their best. Agenda
  4. 4. ability to understand and share the feelings of another
  5. 5. Your goal is to develop an application to help wealthy people with planning their retirement, maintaining standard of life and letting them enjoy their ‘golden years’. Imagine…
  6. 6. 1. Complicated to get access to end-users to interview them and get know their life goals, problems, needs, fairs, etc. What is their ‘life standard’? How do they use technology? 2. Wealth management topic and its terminology is complicated: What is „Lombard loan“? How „Vested benefit account“ differs from „Custody account“, etc.? 3. Where from can we get realistic testing data? Challenges
  7. 7. Existing test data Name: TClient 1, for Testing Marital status: Unknown Date of birth: 01.01.1990 Remarks: asdfasdf jkihjihefhew 74747473y7 jrhjkrjkrjkjker
  8. 8. Existing test data Name: TClient 1, for Testing Marital status: Unknown Date of birth: 01.01.1990 Remarks: asdfasdf jkihjihefhew 74747473y7 jrhjkrjkrjkjker
  9. 9. Existing test data Name: TClient 1, for Testing Marital status: Unknown Date of birth: 01.01.1990 Remarks: asdfasdf jkihjihefhew 74747473y7 jrhjkrjkrjkjker
  10. 10. Existing test data Name: TClient 1, for Testing Marital status: Unknown Date of birth: 01.01.1990 Remarks: asdfasdf jkihjihefhew 74747473y7 jrhjkrjkrjkjker
  11. 11. Existing test data Name: TClient 1, for Testing Marital status: Unknown Date of birth: 01.01.1990 Remarks: asdfasdf jkihjihefhew 74747473y7 jrhjkrjkrjkjker
  12. 12. 1. It is difficult to reach and establish trust with end-users in wealth management, military, medicine, public administration, luxury real estate and some other industries. 2. Lack of domain knowledge puts additional obstacles when defining User stories and designing UX. 3. Artificial test data makes it difficult to validate User Stories. 4. Without empathy towards end-users it is hard to keep little details in focus and keep team motivated in a long run. What is the problem?
  13. 13. Aren’t we smart enough to handle it ‘as is’?
  14. 14. One difference between a smart programmer and a professional programmer is that the professional understands that clarity is a king. “Clean Code”, by Robert C. Martin
  15. 15.  a method used in user-centered design;  developed by UX consultant Alan Cooper in 80-s;  brings a representation of a user into SDLC;  a collective portrait of a typical user, with touch of personality;  describes goals, needs, fears, motivation, and interests;  typically based on field research, interviews or educated guess;  created by UX designer, or BA with UX research skills. Personas
  16. 16. • Recently retired from CFO position at Nestle S.A. • Family: • husband Kurt (68), university professor • 2 children (33 and 30 years), live separately • 2 grandchildren (12 and 7) • Has savings and shares for 200k EUR • Owns together with husband: • 3-bedroom apartment in Münich (550k EUR), • A holiday home in Italy (350k EUR) • Collects pearl jewelry by Mikimoto (150k EUR) • Wishes to: • travel the world (100k EUR), • secure good education for grandchildren (200k EUR), • support charity (10k EUR per year), • invest into FinTech (seeks for advise). • Meets hers personal advisor Benjamin Meyer twice a year • Reads new reports on paper, discusses with husband Bettina Muster (66), PhD, married
  17. 17.  Conduct 5-30 interviews (ca 1h each) with real users  Workshop with marketing and business development department  Dig into existing analytics, news articles and Wikipedia for insights  Focus on user experience, habits, goals, fears, pain, needs. How to create a Persona? (1/2)
  18. 18.  Understand their physical abilities (example: uses glasses) and limitations (example: no smartphone)  Use one of free templates to present your findings  Add a suitable photo on Flickr or other image search (with respect to copyright, check for CC license)  Discuss Personas with project stakeholders to get their approval How to create a Persona? (2/2)
  19. 19. FEW THINGS TO AVOID • Well-known names (Donald Duck, Bill Gates) • Stock images, clipart or grotesk pictures • Unnecessary details • Idealization • Contact details, or any customer identifying data • Long bio / CV • Random data
  20. 20. • Typically: 1 is better then 0, but you rarely need more then 5 • Start with one. Add until you see, that personas start sharing the same goals, pains, needs, motivation and context, so they differ only in formal attributes (age, color of eyes, etc.) • Sometimes Persona = User role, but • there might be 1 Persona in multiply roles (Github user) • or 1 role that requires several Personas (Uber driver) HOW MANY PERSONAS DO I NEED TO CREATE?
  21. 21. Bettina ― typical user, represents a real customer Kurt (husband) ― has all possible data, features and values set. Can’t be real, but useful for testing. Paloma (daughter) ― has only mandatory fields set, almost no data. Very rare case in real life, but practical for testing. Benjamin (client advisor) ― handy to test access rights, GUI and report generation procedure.
  22. 22.  Validates design decisions with business.  Understands the domain terminology.  Distinguishes ‘pet features’ from real user pain points.  Converts formal requirements into meaningful user stories. Personas for Product Owner and Business Analyst
  23. 23. Bettina shares most of her wealth with husband Kurt, they plan income and expenses together Bettina is 66, she wears glasses and her visual ability will decrease over time Bettina’s list of family members, assets and life goals is short (up to 5 entries, but not 25) In addition to the individual report there is a need for a „Family report“ 8pt font is too small, let’s start with 10pt, shorter text lines and larger line spacings Present assets and liabilities on the same page, to improve overview and comparison
  24. 24.  Prioritize stories and bugs in the backlog.  Conduct consistent and interesting sprint demos.  Gain empathy by putting aside your viewpoint, and trying to see things from the Persona's point of view.  Keep motivation when working under time pressure or working on dull or easy tasks.  Enjoy an opportunity to have a secret language and jokes that other teams can’t understand. Personas for Developers and Project Managers
  25. 25. ― Please check why remarks for real estate are not displayed for Kurt? ― Yesterday I fixed a null-pointer exception, now Bettina’s report looks nice again ― Title page is broken because Benjamin left the bank and Bettina has no client advisor assigned anymore!
  26. 26.  Unique names help to search and communicate.  Realistic data helps to prepare valid test cases and better automation scripts.  Relations between Persona’s help to navigate through the GUI and observe how same test data is reflected in different use-cases.  Variety of personas with different data constellations helps to cover most of business scenarios without having too much isolated test-cases. Personas for Test engineers
  27. 27.  Include Persona creation in your Project plan  Talk to business or marketing when users are not available  Bring Personas at any time during SDLC, not only in the beginning  Store Personas as part of Specification in Confluence or other tool  Share your Personas with all your colleagues by printing out and making them visible to everyone  Revise personas 1-2x times a year  Think at least once a day: “What if I were [Persona Name]” Take away
  28. 28. Thank you! zahhar_kirillov@epam.com

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