Design think your side hustle series: Understand your Persona

September 27, 2019

In our previous blog, we introduced you to design thinking as a way to discover and explore your area of interest for a potential side hustle project. As discussed, you want to collect as much data as possible to create a 360-degree view of your space – no judgment, no edits – just pure and raw data to inform you for the next phase.

 

That brings us to understand – that point where you create some structure for your data and then dive into it to derive true insight into your topic. There are many tools to do this and we’ll save that discussion for another time. Rather, I’d like to spend some time talking about the two main takeaways that need to come from synthesizing your data: insights and personas.

 

Using your research to create a wall of data, you’ll cluster your data into natural categories and headline them. For the most part, these headlines will be only at a surface level and now you need to dive in to get true understanding.

 Current tech like Augmented Reality comes from invention of tablet style phone

Think of it like this – before the first iPhone, any research you conducted would have demonstrated that no one wanted a tablet style phone. That’s precisely what people would tell you. By diving deeper and understanding what people did want, however, Apple was able to focus on that level of insight to provide a solution that we didn’t even know we wanted ourselves. That solution was driven to the insights uncovered from a deeper understanding. This isn’t easy but it is critically important. And there tools and techniques to help uncover them.

 

Now that we have a better understanding of our data, we need to have a reference to frame to, namely a persona. A persona is a composite of the ‘customer’ we want to eventually solve for. Of course there are always more personas that you’ll create but here it’s about finding the most relevant one to continue the journey. Iteration on others will come soon enough. This composite persona should be tangible enough to feel real.

 

Source:http://www.marketingjournal.org/shifting-from-persona-to-person-matthew-hellman/

The ultimate deliverable for you in the understanding phase is to use the personas and insights to create several point-of-view statements. A point-of-view can be constructed as follows: user + need + insight. Each one is a single sentence that creates an image in your mind. It allows you to narrow the focus and makes the problem specific enough to tackle.

 

Reaching this point now puts you on the launchpad to ideate potential solutions, or put more simply, solve the problem. We’ll explore more of that in the next blog.

 

Finally, you can learn more about all of this and more at our upcoming session on November 14th at ZED Coworking in San Jose.

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