Over the years I have been asked to explain the value of personas. After all, they are not cheap to create, especially when you do it right. When I say right, I mean supported at the very least by contextual research into the circumstances of the target audience followed by a thorough analysis of that context that results in great information design deliverables capturing the essence of the personas. This qualitative form of persona can also be enhanced by subsequent quantitative research, which may provide accurate insights into the relative size, value, and desires of personas, acting more as market segmentation and supporting business strategy. This balanced qualitative/quantitative approach
Recent shopalongs with consumers starkly revealed the emotional rollercoaster ride that many embark on as they seek the perfect purchase. Shoppers are browsing, learning, buying, and engaging with both the brands they know and the ones they don’t in increasingly complex ways. The customer journey they take from identifying a need to considering a product, from using a new purchase to becoming a loyal customer is no longer a linear path but rather a series of parallel and intersecting lines and loops.
Once upon a time shopping was simple. Get in the car, hop on the bike, or simply walk to the store that holds the product you need…view the selection at hand, decide, and buy. Shopping is not simple anymore…as soon as you open yourself up to the possibilities presented through the amazing array of channels within which one can research, browse and purchase.
Over the course of every design practitioners career there are days when one comes across authors and their books that act as intellectual catalysts to spark new ways of thinking about how one approaches design. I’d like to introduce you to three such books on the subject of design management…all with one thing in common. They are co-authored (with other colleagues) by Rachel Cooper and Margaret Bruce. These are not new books, with publishing dates ranging from 1995 to 2002 but their message is still potently relevant today. I suggest that they are ideal primers to inspire the strategic designer in all of us. I also believe that they are fundamental to any business strategist trying to understand how to better incorporate design into driving business innovation and to any strategic design manager seeking to drive the design organization that will underpin it.