If you've been designing for long enough, you would definitely know what a user persona is, but just in case you don't.
User personas are fictional characters that are created based on research to represent the different user types that might use the service, product, or brand.
But personas most often end up resting in some corner of Google Drive or a Notion doc. Whereas personas should be used by designers and engineers as often as possible to develop an understanding and empathy towards their end-user.
Mailchimp decided to reimagine and rethink how user personas should be used by designers. Mailchimp is an automation and email marketing service.
How did Mailchimp do this?
They initiated a company-wide sense of inquiry into who their customers are, how they work, and how Mailchimp could best serve them.
The research team involved everyone from recent hires to founders
Personas were made part of every conversation and design consideration
To make personas more “real” and ubiquitous, they gave each persona a face, a name, and a list of attributes and descriptors.
Next, they created dramatically lit portraits of personas against vibrant colors.
They were bold, simple, and effective. Then, these posters were then hung in the most frequented rooms in Mailchimp offices.
How did this help Mailchimp?
Customer feedbacks were correlated with personas types.
When Mailchimp released a redesign in 2013, they quickly identified common problems associated with a particular persona.
Ada persona spends only a few minutes to using Mailchimp each week, as she has many other responsibilities.
The changes made to the app slowed Ada down and forced her to learn new ways of doing routine things.
The team was able to tweak the redesign, made actions more intuitive, and added clearer copies.
So, if your product's personas are resting in some corner of your Notion docs. It might be a good time to revisit them and ensure your team (don't limit this to only designers :)) knows who their users, how users use the product, and of course, help your team empathize with the users more often.
And now onto this issue's design tools and resources. :D