Flag

We stand with Ukraine and our team members from Ukraine. Here are ways you can help

Home ›› Business Value and ROI ›› 6 Key Questions to Guide International UX Research ›› Using Post-Service Personas to Design Closure Experiences

Using Post-Service Personas to Design Closure Experiences

by Joe Macleod
3 min read
Share this post on
Tweet
Share
Post
Share
Email
Print

Save

Post-Service Personas help you understand the emotions of users after they end their relationship with a service or product, leading to better closure experiences.

Last year I wrote an article about closure experiences and the importance of offering your users a way to bring a satisfying end to their relationship with your service if and when that time comes. To make it easier to envision and design these types of experiences, I’d like to take a look at how personas can be used to improve closure experiences in our designs.

Sourcing data from market research and happy current customers does not reflect a true story of users, as it misses critical insights from recently departed customers. Post-Service Personas aim to improve that situation by considering the emotions of a user after they leave a service or product relationship. The technique is designed to highlight the reasons for a user’s departure and help designers consider the closure experience of a service.

Workshop

We conducted this technique as a workshop at UCD2013 in London and found that the workshop format provided an ideal environment, as attendees were happy to reveal some real service horror stories. It also demonstrated the shocking lack of feedback service designers receive from their lost customers: both big issues for closure experiences.

War Stories

Our first exercise sought to engender empathy in attendees by asking them to reflect on a negative end to a service they’d experienced recently. Why did it happen? Why was it difficult? What would they like to say to the service provider if they had the opportunity? We pushed them to dig deep and really get their emotions bubbling for this.

Sourcing data from market research and happy current customers does not reflect a true user story

Next, we asked them to reflect on positive endings to a service—something that might have been very special to them, like a romantic meal or vacation.

Then we asked them to reflect on these feelings and extract them into a persona. For this, we asked the attendees gather into groups and share their positive and negative experiences with one another while other members of the group captured those points.

Who Would You Tell?

Attendees were next asked to consider the actions a user might take as a result of leaving a service, starting with the communication outlets they might use. Would they tell their friends about their experience, or discuss it via social media? We wanted to push the attendees beyond the standard digital solutions, and encouraged them to bring in their own experiences from the previous exercise.

By now the groups had two clusters of captured notes: one about feelings, the other about communication. Starting with the communications of the disgruntled persona, we had them flesh out their social group, their family, their communication modes, and social networks.

Then we had them give them their personas names and map some of the feelings from the captured notes in the previous exercise. After filling in the remaining details of the persona from standard demographic data sources (where they live, income, etc.) the group had personas with origins in the post-service world.

Results

The exercise surfaced a lot of emotions in the attendees, starting with the passionate insights they had as users and the common feeling of injustice customers often experience. Thinking about how quickly users can go public with bad experiences highlighted how important it is for a service provider to have a response to these situations. As designers we are in a good position to guide clients here, but we are often blind to the situation when using the usual passive, positive personas. Post-Service Personas help bring this situation into focus.

Broadly, the workshop helped designers and clients identify with the post-service user and avoid obsessing over new features and the on-boarding of customers. Considering outcomes and how to achieve a quality long-term delivery as opposed to the short-term goals of some of the industry’s designs led them to consider closure as an achievable and comfortable conclusion, instead of something to be denied or avoided.

 

Image of cowboy riding into sunset courtesy Shutterstock.

post authorJoe Macleod

Joe Macleod, Joe Macleod has been working on the issue of Closure Experiences for 15 years. Through his work in design, technology and services, he has detected a common pattern of denial at the end of the customer lifecycle. In the last couple of years this interest has led him to establish a research project based on sharing this insight and new approach with people via conferences, articles, teaching, projects and - now - a book. His 20-year professional career has been based across the leading web, telecoms and carrier companies, where he led teams and built a variety of successful products. Most recently as Head of Design at the award-winning digital product studio Ustwo, he built it into a globally recognised team, working with the world’s favourite brands on the most pioneering of products. In 2013 he founded the IncludeDesign campaign; this brought the UK’s leading designers together to champion creative education.

Tweet
Share
Post
Share
Email
Print

Related Articles

Article by Chris Kernaghan
Do Founders Even Care About Design?
  • The article emphasizes the importance of design in startup success, highlighting the risks of ignoring user feedback and the necessity of effective communication between founders and designers.
Share:Do Founders Even Care About Design?
6 min read

Designers should not be mere decorators, but understand language and microcopy, which is a crucial design skill, now more than ever.

Article by David Hall
The Essential Guide to Microcopy and Becoming a More Literate Designer
  • The article emphasizes the importance of microcopy in design, highlighting its role in enhancing user experiences and providing guidelines for crafting effective microcopy throughout the design process.
Share:The Essential Guide to Microcopy and Becoming a More Literate Designer
10 min read

How to use storyboarding in UX and service design without the knowledge of sketching or graphic design

Article by Yaron Cohen
How to Create Storyboards for Design Projects Using Generative AI
  • The article delves into the utilization of generative AI to create storyboards for design projects, catering particularly to individuals lacking sketching or graphic design skills.
Share:How to Create Storyboards for Design Projects Using Generative AI
9 min read

Did you know UX Magazine hosts the most popular podcast about conversational AI?

Listen to Invisible Machines

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Check our privacy policy and