The Playbook is how we record and improve our methods—it is a catalogue of updated frameworks and processes that we use to solve design problems.

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Emotional Personas

22 February 2014

The most original psychological findings in the last decade herald the importance of the subconscious in decision-making. 20th century communications and business was more rational (or thought it was). Advertising started out presenting product information for the rational buyer to decide on. Companies organised themselves as ‘systems’ like the factory line, with measurement tools to allow managers to make informed decisions. We now know that humans decide and act based on their deep seated opinion—their bias. And it is this bias that the Emotional Persona method highlights.

During Depth Interviews, we ask a variety of questions that uncover common user-centred design needs:

  • Goals: What are they trying to do?
  • Latent Needs: Why did they start to do this?
  • Barriers: What are they currently unable to do?
  • Opportunities: What are they able to do?
  • Channels: What media and technology do they use? 

These questions give us a picture of their known and rational worlds. We also then seek to understand them on a deeper level.

  • Goals: How are they judged?
  • Latent Needs: Who do they want to impress?
  • Barriers: What would they rather be doing?
  • Opportunities: What do their colleagues and friends value?
  • Channels: What social networking do they do?

Once we have a lot of answers, we gather these and create Personas for each user type. There will be several to a dozen in each project. We then look for the social connections between them, informed by the questions above.