Trends Report

Assumption Personas Help Overcome Hurdles To Using Research-Based Design Personas

November 4th, 2009
JB
Jonathan Browne
With contributors:
Harley Manning , Moira Dorsey , Vidya Drego , Angela Beckers , Shelby Catino

Summary

Forrester recommends that customer experience professionals use personas founded in ethnographic research to guide the design of products, channels, and messages. However, some organizations struggle to use personas effectively. To overcome common barriers to persona use, customer experience professionals should brainstorm with key stakeholders to create roughly sketched profiles of target customers, called "assumption personas." This exercise helps build the case for creating real personas, gets stakeholders to think about their business goals in customer-centric terms, and generates hypotheses about target customers for testing in subsequent ethnographic research. Customer experience professionals must ensure that assumption personas are viewed as a step toward customer insight rather than an end in themselves. They are valuable tools for kicking off persona projects, but they aren't fit for guiding design decisions.

Want to read the full report?

Contact us to become a client

This report is available for individual purchase ($1495).

Forrester helps business and technology leaders use customer obsession to accelerate growth. That means empowering you to put the customer at the center of everything you do: your leadership strategy, and operations. Becoming a customer-obsessed organization requires change — it requires being bold. We give business and technology leaders the confidence to put bold into action, shaping and guiding how to navigate today's unprecedented change in order to succeed.