Lizzie started her talk by showing us the ‘before’ pictures of uninspiring personas for the BBC Sports site. They were DULL, and needed an urgent facelift. The information contained in the personas was factual and adequate, but needed to appeal to a discerning online audience, thus began a 6-week process to refresh the personas.

The first step was to commandeer a corridor wall and cover it in post-it notes of different colours to denote different things. Passers-by were intrigued by the spectacle, and were wisely roped into informal interviews, informing the content. The public were consulted about the personas, with Stakeholders looking on through one-way glass. Lizzie noted that the public were an important part of the process, and it was important for the stakeholders to see their views, as ‘stakeholders tend to think that everyone thinks like them’ and real users are more diverse.

Once the consultation was over, the story-building began. All flat surfaces were covered with strips of paper, dubbed ‘post-it porn’ by Lizzie and the team. The strips of paper were shuffled around to make engaging stories for each persona, then the content was made into web pages. A ‘naming ceremony’ was held, where the team showcased the personas and explained the reasons behind each one, then the personas were formally launched.

All in all, Lizzie provided an engaging, humorous account of the process, and showed how there’s far more to a persona than bare facts on a page.