Using Personas To Deliver Actionable Value With Epics

A lot of business owners today use the creation of personas to assist them with enhancing the UX design of their website or product. There is a lot of information online about how to create these personas, from using demographics to getting into the attitudes and behaviours of your target consumers. You should then end up with a number of different personas. But what happens now? How do you use these personas to ensure you deliver value? Read on to discover everything you need to know.

Leading this project

If you are in charge of leading this project, you will need to plan it to perfection. The success of your website or app depends on it. So you really need to think about your leadership approach. As Jozef Opdeweegh rightly states, no two approaches are the same. But one thing that does need to be consistent is choosing the best people for your team. Who will really understand your personas and be able to comprehend what they like and what they don’t? Choosing the right employees to work on this is critical.

What are the pain points of your product? What works well?

You have done all of the hard work; you have created your personas, and now is the time to put them to use. You need to identify your product functionality – you need to find out what is working well and where there are any vulnerabilities in your product. To determine this, you use your personas, and you look at their goals, pain points, and motivations specifically. Once you have determined any areas that create problems for a specific persona, you need to ask yourself what your website should do to address this.

Identifying your epics

So, start with your first persona, and once you have done this capture the functionality, this is what is known as ‘epics’. You should then write down all of the epics that are needed to meet the goals of your persona. Don’t get too specific at this stage; keep it to the basics. For example, if you are creating a time-management cooking game for your website, you may include epics, such as ‘choose character’, ‘customise character’, ‘play with character’, ‘buy furniture’, ‘buy catering equipment’, ‘earn points and redeem bonuses’, ‘post results on social media’, ‘invite other players’, and so on and so forth.

Your epics display what your website should do, i.e. that the game should allow the user to choose from various characters, which they can customise, i.e. change their clothing. They should also be able to decorate their own restaurant with the furniture and equipment they want. Aside from this, they can invite their friends to play and they can post their progress, i.e. whenever they level up, on Twitter or Facebook. They should also be able to earn bonus points and redeem them when they are playing.

Now you have your epics, and the next step is to capture your persona’s interaction and the sequences in which the epics are used. You can use various ways of describing this, from mock-ups, to storyboards, to workflow diagrams. You will also want to note the vital non-functional qualities, such as performance and interoperability, as well as the visual design of the app.

Once you have done this, you should then change the epics into user stories by decomposing them. This involves taking one epic at a time. For instance, let’s say ease of use is what you are testing to ensure you address one of the biggest challenges young children face – i.e. knowing how to use the app. You will need to spilt the epic into ‘moving the character forward’, ‘moving the character back’, ‘using the equipment’, ‘clicking on the customer’, and so on and so forth. You can use this to test the usability. This is derived from the epic mentioned earlier ‘play with character’. You will need to do this with all other epics.

All you need to do now is communicate your findings and your requirements to the development team so that they can use a website design service to improve the functioning of your product. Through decomposing the epics in this manner, you have been able to find the specific area of the process that is proving problematic, for instance, you may have discovered that the user has trouble clicking on the customers to take their orders, and this is thus impacting the usability of the app – a key issue for one of your personas.

Hopefully, you now feel more confident when it comes to using your personas to deliver actionable value in terms of your product. Good luck!

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