The Upfront Guide to Design Inclusive Personas
In my previous article The one thing HR and IT are still missing about Employee Experience I focused on the importance of including the daily grind of employees’ life as the foundational element for the creation of a world-class digital workplace. Successful employee experience programs focus on the day-to-day micro-moments of an employee journey as much as they plan for key macro-moments In an ideal experience design and personalization journey, crafting personas is one of the first and most crucial steps to take. This is why I wanted to tackle this practical topic right away. Like a bartender, you’re about to enjoy my very own recipe for Inclusive Persona: in the following chapters you will discover the different elements I suggest for an effective and original mix. But I can’t wait to know what your recommendations are, to craft an even better cocktail. Please note this is not a Persona 101 article. I’m not going to explain the full process to create a set of them. I’m going to provide you 3 additional steps to consider for a more holistic approach, and will share an example of how I did it. What does ‘Inclusive Persona’ mean? Inclusive personas ARE NOT marketing personas, their goal is not to provide extreme personalization to drive conversion, but to highlight diversity of behaviors and workstyles to drive tangible initiatives improving people experience. “[Personas] only need to be realistic, not real, not necessarily even accurate (as long as they accurately characterize the user base)” — Don Norman In my continuous effort to improve the outputs I create, I found Inclusive Design particularly intriguing. Let’s be clear, I’m not saying that you should “kill your personas”. I believe that designing for inclusion is a natural extension of the functional approach to personas. A design that is usable and enables maximum people possible to use the product, is called inclusive and eventually successful. When a diverse set of users with multiple perspectives come across a product/service, the reactions are naturally different and individualistic. The ultimate goal of an inclusive design should be to make people participate and gather a wide spectrum of human experience. This concept is especially important when it comes to employee experience, focused on workplace enhancement. In order to achieve this, different communities, groups and minorities should be considered in identifying points of exclusion and explore possible solutions. 1. Identify and consider your Difficulties The pyramid model of diversity above can be used to show how inclusive design aims to extend the target market to include those who are less able, while accepting that specialist solutions may be required to satisfy the needs of those at the top of the pyramid. Simply put: your persona should be informed by the same target audiences you would normally consider, taking note of the Difficulties that came across, and by specific sets of users with Difficulties. When creating with constraints in mind, individuals open up possibilities to benefit more users than they might have originally imagined. The persona spectrum helps realize this by outlining constraints. As written in Inclusive: A Microsoft Design Toolkit We use the Persona Spectrum to understand related mismatches and motivations across a spectrum of permanent, temporary, and situational scenarios. It’s a quick tool to help foster empathy and to show how a solution scales to a broader audience. » Read More
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