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Episode Info: Tamara Adlin Tamara Adlin uses the power of user personas to align teams and help them develop better products. Tamara literally co-wrote the first book on how to develop and use personas. She has subsequently developed several practices that help teams align executives and other stakeholders on how to build genuinely customer-focused products and services. Tamara and I talked about: her discovery of the concept of personas in Alan Cooper's book The Inmates are Running the Asylum in 1999 the book that she and John Pruitt subsequently wrote together, The Persona Lifecycle, based on workshops that they had conducted the problem back in 1999 that Cooper was trying to solve - engineers designing user interfaces and writing UI copy how focusing on a small, specific segment of users with the persona methodology can - paradoxically - satisfy many other users as well - and how the example of the development of the roll-aboard suitcase illustrates this her work at Amazon from 2002 to 2005 - she had a great team and access to voluminous data, but struggled to come up with personas based on that data her work during the same time period on smaller teams with less data during which they developed "ad hoc" persona creation how turn assumptions into hypotheses jumpstarts persona creation, which can then be validated with data her insight that "the only assumptions that can hurt your products are the ones that you don't know about" the importance of crafting personas that resonate with the assumptions that business leaders hold the origin of the term "ad hoc persona" and its evolution in her practice to "alignment personas," a term that better describes the value that the concept delivers how she elicits business goals from the executives she works with - a Mad Libs exercise and an approach that lets her feign being "the dumbest person in the room" how she practices UX on her UX practice early UX pioneers who helped launch the widespread acceptance of the discipline: Jakob Nielsen, Steve Krug, Don Norman, and many others some of the antecedents to the persona concept - from marketing, human-centered design, etc. how personas have taken their place alongside scenarios and use cases in the UX tool kit how focusing on statements that start with the words "I want" or "I need" is a better approach than aggregating psychographic and demographic data and pondering pain points how this approach can start a conversation between the persona and the product or service you're designing the ultimate goal of her work: "help the persona happily do the things that make the business thrive" how she is both "excited and totally intimidated by content strategy" the importance in UX of making the transition "from thinking about users to thinking like users" some lessons that content strategy as a discipline can learn from the UX profession some connections between UX and content strategy Tamara's Bio Tamara Adlin is an author, speak...
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