In order to allow team members to put aside their personal preferences during the development process and focus on the motivation and behavior of target users, Alan Cooper proposed the concept of Persona. The book "Win in Users" translates it into "personality". At Tencent, we are used to the term "user portrait". The meaning is the same, it is a virtual representative of a real user, a virtual user based on a deep understanding of real data. We use research to understand users, divide them into different types based on their goals, behaviors, and opinions, and then extract typical characteristics from each type, give them a name, a photo, some demographic elements, The description of the scene, etc., forms a user portrait.
Cooper also pointed out that we cannot design products for more than 3 user portraits, otherwise conflicting needs will make it difficult for us to decide. When we have multiple user portraits, we need to consider the priority of user portraits. In product design, first consider meeting the needs of primary user portraits, and then try to meet the needs of secondary user portraits without conflict. Of course, when a product is very complex, we may need to consider the priority of its user portraits for different modules. For example, in a comprehensive shopping website, a female character is the primary user portrait in the women's clothing section, but in the menswear section It becomes a secondary user portrait.
The best practice is to conduct meticulous research and create a user portrait of the product in the early stage of product development. However, in actual operation, many times you may think that a certain product can be done and just do it. There is a relatively large deviation between users and previously imagined users, and the product architecture designed based on the previously imagined users is difficult to carry the needs of actual users. At this time, the first task is still to define the target users of the product.
How to create a user portrait? Let's take an example of an enterprise product I am responsible for to describe the creation process of user portraits. I hope to share experience with you. In this project, we created user portraits through qualitative research. Of course, if necessary, you can also verify the obtained user portraits through quantitative research later. However, even if you want to create quantitative user portraits, sufficient qualitative research in the early stage is also very important. In the interpretation of cluster analysis results or parameter adjustments, a full understanding of users can help us create meaningful user portraits.
The creation of user portraits can be divided into the following steps:
Research preparation and data collection As
with all research, we must first determine the type of interviewed users, design the research plan and the research outline.
The first question that arises is: Who are we looking for for research. Since the purpose of research is to create user portraits, we should investigate as many different users as possible. Through brainstorming with colleagues in different departments to find out the various possible user types, we may get a list of conditions, or a user matrix as follows, and then we can invite users based on these conditions, three for each type . However, the choice of users should be more flexible. If we find that a certain type of user is missing during the research process, then add this type; or after we researched 20 companies and found that there is no new information, then we can Cancel the remaining surveys.
In addition, when selecting research subjects, we should not forget other stakeholders besides the actual users of the product. For example, it is the wife who buys household fresheners, but the husband's and children's scent preferences will also affect the wife's purchase decision; the business owner may not use or rarely use a certain product, but he is one of the key figures in the final purchase decision . So these people should be included in our research. For enterprise products, distributors are also our very important research objects.
The research method to be adopted is mainly considered based on the research purpose, project time and funding. For example, our team doesn’t know much about the business models and usage scenarios of corporate users, so we conduct on-site visits to collect first-hand information as much as possible. Due to the time limit of the project, we use telephone surveys for companies outside of Shanghai. Form instead.
The key to distinguish different user types is the user's goal and motivation for using the product, past/present/future behavior, rather than demographic characteristics such as gender, age, and region. The survey outline is designed according to the actual situation of different products. In our project, it mainly includes the following four aspects:
Data collection is a highly technical job. The skills and experience of the moderator will affect the quantity and quality of the information collected. There are many articles and books that introduce research skills, so I won’t repeat them here.
facts such as affinity diagram (Affinity Diagram), the extensive collection, comments or ideas qualitative data, a method according to their proximity to summarize finishing.
Through the data collection in the previous stage, we have collected a lot of data. How to involve multiple people in the process of data analysis without missing the data? The affinity graph is very suitable at this time. The advantage of this method is to allow a large number of The analysis process of qualitative information is visualized, which is convenient for everyone to work together and unified understanding. At the same time, the affinity graph produced can be conveniently used as a data basis for discussion in the next stage.
1. the user research engineer made the collected key information into cards, and then invited relevant colleagues to participate in the process of making and discussing the affinity map. My experience is that the people who participate in the production of the affinity map should participate in the previous data collection process, and the number of people should be controlled within 3 people. At the beginning, we had 5 people participating, and 2 of them did not understand the preliminary research, so when they were faced with these cards, they would have no way to start, too many people, and it would take too much time to reach an agreement. Only write one piece of information on a card, and the content includes person + goal/behavior/problem encountered. For example, in the following example, C06 U01 is the number of the interviewed company and user, which is convenient for us to check the original record. To facilitate memory, you can also write the company name directly on the card.
Before we start organizing cards, we can use our impressions to assume several types of users and their characteristics, and then paste similar or related cards together on the wall, and then describe each group of cards. The description is written in different Color post-it notes. Next, continue with higher-level summarization, and move or reorganize at the same time, until the final affinity graph is formed. Here is an experience to share. The basic information of a company or individual does not need to be made into a card, it can be printed out and used as a reference when discussing and grouping. The final affinity graph is as follows:
User portrait framework
Through the affinity diagram, we have identified several types of enterprises, as well as the types of individual users in the enterprise. Next, we can describe the important characteristics of these companies and individuals to form a framework for user portraits. In this step, we do not need to add descriptive details, just list the key content; basic information can be described by scope, for example, the number of employees can be written as "less than 20", and the specific number can be defined in the next user portrait .
The purpose of this step is to quickly discuss with the rest of the team and collect feedback before the end user's portrait is output.
next thing to do is to work with the product, market, and each group of leaders to complete the prioritization of user portraits. When determining the priority of user portraits, we can mainly consider from the following aspects:
(1) Frequency of use
(2) Market size
(3) Revenue potential
(4) Competitive advantage/strategy, etc.
User portrait The
last step is to perfect the user portrait. The main things we need to do are:
(1) Combine real data and select typical features to add to the user portrait
(2) Add descriptive elements and scene descriptions to make the user portrait more full and true
(3) Frame the user portrait Specify the scope and abstract description in the middle, for example, change the number of employees from “less than 20” to “15”
(4) Make user portraits easy to remember, such as using names, iconic language, and a few simple key features , Can alleviate the reader’s memory burden
Experience and improvements
As it is an enterprise product, in order to facilitate everyone to determine at a macro level what kind of enterprise is our main target user. The practice at the time was to define three corporate user portraits according to the type of company, and then define a typical individual user portrait in each company. However, when entering the detailed design stage, we need to consider more specific users’ needs for this function. We may find that individual user portraits among different enterprise users may have similarities. For example, we have enterprise A and enterprise. The two enterprise users of B, there are two individual users A1 and A2 in enterprise A, and three individual users B1, B2, and B3 in enterprise B. Maybe A2 and B2 are very similar. Then we can perform the portrait of these individual users. Reorganize and define the priority of all personal user portraits according to the priority of corporate user portraits.
It is meaningless to just create user portraits without involving them in product design and development, promotion and operation decisions. The promotion of user portraits in the team is very important. In the project, we mainly increase the participation of team members in the early stage, invite team members to participate in the creation of user portraits in the mid-term, and organize large sharing and discussion meetings in the later stage to let everyone know And agree with the user portrait. At the end of the project, there was a good response. However, as product development progresses intensively, personnel changes, and newcomers join, over time, everyone’s understanding and ideas about target users will differ. Therefore, we currently carry out regular visits to users in the team, encourage everyone to continue to walk into users, and share what they see and hear, so as to continuously strengthen and unify the team's understanding of target users, and at the same time can perceive in time Changes in the market and users keep the user portrait updated and vital.