Wilma Lam is Strategy Director at Substantial, a digital innovation and design studio in Seattle, where she leads design strategy and research initiatives with clients across a broad range of industries. Her design approach incorporates understanding complex systems and the impact of business and societal incentives. As a researcher and strategist, she emphasizes the importance of working across scales - thinking at the individual, societal, and global levels in developing new products and services. Wilma is the host of Optimistic Design (https://substantial.com/optimisticdesign), a speaker series which takes a practical, positive look at the future of design, ethical innovation, and technology.
Personas are used as a common framework to synthesize user research and crate a starting for setting design requirements. They are intentional amalgamations of user attributes which can be useful, but also have limitations and, at their worst, lead to stereotypes and flawed correlations.
This talk is about analyzing the existing structure of user personas to know when they're useful and re-evaluating how the current components of personas implies assumptions with set behaviors, demographics, and goals. We'll analyze the typical user persona structure and look at case studies where we re-imagine the persona framework to better match several different project contexts. Lastly, we'll walk through principals to guide the audience in how they can apply these techniques to creating better personas as part of their research and design approach.