Developing Personas in dig-8 [Session 2.0]

June 5, 2013

Before reading, if you would like a back-story on the dig-8 program, please read our previous posts below:

dig-8: Teaching Product Development & Entrepreneurship to 8th Grade Students in Chicago Public Schools

Teaching Design Research to 8th Grade Students in dig-8

In the second session of dig-8, we introduced the students to persona development. After splitting into their assigned teams, they presented their research findings from the homework lesson and explained the photos they captured. The people they interviewed ranged from siblings and parents, to business owners and teachers. After learning more about each person that was interviewed the students (as a team) chose one persona they would like to create a product for. From there, they developed a persona board using cut-out pictures from magazines to identify their target market – including their age, hobbies, location, personality traits, etc.

At the end of the session, they presented their personas to the rest of the class. These personas would serve as the basis for how and why they develop specific concepts in the upcoming sessions.

Their homework lesson for this week was to go home and conduct desk research to see what other products are already on the market for their chosen persona. How much do they cost? Where can you find them? What are the features and benefits? The students were asked to think about what features and benefits their persona might need/want in a product in order to help them develop concepts in the brainstorming session next week.

It was amazing to see their persona boards come together and to have each group stand up, with confidence, and present their persona to their peers. This session helped them to understand different customer behaviors, discover how to create a persona and use it to solve problems for someone other than themselves, and improved their independent and group presentation skills.

We will be posting details about each session of dig-8 in the coming weeks, so please keep checking back! You can check out some photos from the Persona Development session below.

TJ Kim, a mentor from Beyond Design, gives an overview of personas at the beginning of the session.

Students present their research findings to their team.

Students interviewed parents, siblings, teachers, etc. and took photos of how and where they store their belongings. They presented these findings to their team.

Teams discussed each person that was interviewed within their group and, collectively, decided on one persona to develop an organizational product for.

Teams spent the majority of the session creating persona boards using cut-out photos from magazines.

Based on their chosen persona, each team cut out photos from magazines that described their personality, location, hobbies, etc.

This session helped them to understand different customer behaviors and how a persona board can be used to solve problems for people other than themselves.

Each team presented their persona board to the class at the end of the session.

The personas that were chosen included teachers, office workers, mothers, young children, a woman in her 30's, and families.

Examples of two persona boards developed by the teams.

You can check out the final product the students designed on our recently launched Kickstarter site Your donation can get you one of the Elephant Hooks for your home! We appreciate your support!

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