Personas and Research Notes
At a recent Product Management meetup, we had the chance to hear some product managers from Overstock talk about their experience in conducting research calls. It was great to hear their experience as well as hear from other product managers.
A few things in particular stood out to me. First was the continued debate around the use of personas. While I'm sure we all have heard the debate, and probably have feelings one way or the other, it is always interesting to me to hear both sides. And especially when either side is passionate about their love or hate of personas. I still sit somewhere in between. I find them valuable as long as they're dynamic, but can certainly understand why they are hated in some corners. A persona is easy to do wrong. Or easy to let grow stale.
The second point was around recording notes from research calls we do. What is the best way to keep track of what we learn? I've had this question posed to me and didn't have a great answer. I've tended to use whatever is available, whether that is Excel (don't hate) or Google Drive or a handful of other tools. So when someone posed that question to the presenters, I was excited to hear their answer. But it turned out to be the same as mine. Either they just keep it in their head or write it down somewhere. The suggestion for recording the calls was made, but it definitely seemed like there wasn't a great answer. That's certainly something to think about.
So what are your thoughts? Love or hate personas? And how do you keep track of research calls? Is there a great tool to use? Or who among us is going to make the perfect tool?
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My personal musings on a variety of topics.