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Lindsey Wallace

Design research leader spearheading enterprise research with an inclusive and ethnographic lens and a passion for shaping how organizations learn. Head of Research and Strategy at Cisco Cloud and Network Security.

A persona-hater’s guide to teaching with personas

Personas — Training Wheels
  • Personas can help build an organizations’ capacity to imagine the people who use and interact with their products.
  • The author’s take on what’s useful about personas:
    • Personas help teams build a shared language to argue with when they have to work together.
    • Personas can show teams when they need to think with a higher level of specificity.
    • Using personas helps teams create hypotheses about who our users are and what matters to them.
    • Personas give a framework that helps cross-functional teams easily understand research insights and implications.
  • Personas need never replace research, but they can be a useful tool to begin to value them enough to bring their individual success or failure into designers’ decision-making.
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Personas — training wheels

UX researchers often feel like they are bombarded with projects and drowning in work. But just like surfing, they can try to avoid swimming alone and make sure they are prepared for deep water.

Surfing the waves of UX research, swimming in deep organizational water
  • For researchers new to their role, working in spaces of ambiguity betwixt and between design, product and engineering can create a lot of anxiety around whether they are working “right”.
  • For the productivity increase, the author suggests UX researchers follow these tips:
    • Take care of yourself, your personal life and don’t stress
    • Keep in close contact with your partners
    • Lean in to the chaos
    • Take the time to socialize your findings with stakeholders
    • Take a deep breath before spotting the next wave out on the horizon
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