Conducting Customer Interviews to Validate Provisional Personas (1/2 day)

In the third edition of Alan Cooper’s book About Face in 2007, Cooper added a new section called “When Rigorous Personas Aren’t Possible: Provisional Personas.” The concept was intended for product makers who did not have the time, budgets, or corporate buy-in to perform the fieldwork necessary to gather detailed qualitative data. Provisional personas are a simple collaborative group exercise for designers and non-designers to quickly depict and align on assumptions about a hypothesized customer segment. 

Customer Discovery, advocated by Steve Blank, is a process used to discover, test, and validate whether a specific product solves a known problem for a segment of users. It is essentially a method for conducting qualitative user research. However, you don’t want to merely observe people, empathize with them, and then make judgments. Instead, you want to “get out of the building” and conduct customer interviews with the goal of getting measurable feedback.

This 1/2 day workshop teaches participants exactly how to create a provisional persona and then do interview preparation so that they can apply this approach on their own.

What you’ll learn

  • How to stop thinking about solutions first, but instead focus on a customer segment that has a real problem that needs to be solved
  • How to create a  provisional persona in 20-minutes based on assumptions that are contextual to the persona’s primary goal
  • Ways to find your hypothesized customer either in the physical world and online
  • How to approach them with the right screener question to make sure you are talking to the correct sample set
  • Ways to structure interview questions to get measurable results in order to validate or invalidate your provisional persona and customer/problem hypothesis

Who is this workshop for?

UX/UI practitioners of any level, product teams and managers, business executives, and startup founders that want to learn how to be more strategically sound in their process.

Jaime Levy’s Bio

Jaime Levy is an author, university professor and a pioneer in the creation of innovative digital platforms, services, and products. Her best-selling O’Reilly Media book is called UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want. The book presents a solid framework on the practice, which lies at the intersection of UX design and business strategy. She runs JaimeLevy.com, a digital strategy firm out of Los Angeles, California and conducts public workshops and in-house training worldwide. Jaime also teaches graduate-level courses on UX design and strategy at the University of Southern California. You can read more about her on Wikipedia.