Thinking-Styles Advanced Training
The online 4-week course begins 24-April. There is a variety of ticket prices to match your situation. Sign up here.
A well-researched persona is a good tool if you guide your strategy and scenario-writing by them. But often personas are built in a day or two--using quantitative data and invented “decorative” detail. This demographic approach to personas has a marketing heritage, ends up as an unusable mashup of ad placement direction and product design guidance, and frequently only addressing the buying behavior. If a set of personas does venture past buying into usage, they usually represent only one philosophical approach to users' overall purpose with different "skins" to show a diversity of market segments. Scenario-writing ends up feeling repetitive and useless. You end up designing in a restrictive endless loop.
There is a better way.
Thinking-styles are deeply researched, demographics-free* mindsets for the characters who play roles in an org’s design scenarios. Thinking-styles are characters who act within all the contexts you are concerned with: buying, on-boarding, usage, workarounds, retention ... or even better, the larger problem-space the characters are paying attention to.
With a connection to the inner mindsets people have as they seek to achieve their own purposes (not "how people use our services"), your team will gain clarity on how weak or strong your support for their different approaches is. Your team will become aware of broader cultures and philosophies. If your organization can define audiences specifically, highlighting the variety thinking-styles within, this variety allows your organization to multiply the number of goals and solutions you can seek to support.
In this course you will learn:
- the neutral mindset of understanding people as people
- vocabulary to spread clarity at your organization
- how to derive thinking-styles from research
- the core concepts necessary to provide the depth you need
- how to convert existing personas to thinking-styles
- techniques to gather core concepts from existing research
- how to represent complex sets of thinking-styles in a way many teams across a large org can easily comprehend and make use of
- the time and place where you should use demographics
A second area where teams go wrong is to accept the convention of using names, faces, and ages in their personas. This practice allows cognitive bias to creep in. Demographic assumptions are harmful. Thinking-styles are much more human, representing inner voices. Any one person can wear a different thinking-style based on context or mood. Thinking-styles are deeply connected to the purpose that your organization seeks to support.
I'll show you how to do everything properly in the advanced training series "Thinking-Style Segments."