Session type:


Presented by:

Carolina Pizatto

UK Ministry of Justice

Amber Westerholm-Smyth

UK Ministry of Justice

Session time:

16 Sep 15:15 15:45

Session duration:

30 minutes

About the session

Not knowing your customers typically means building poor services with risky outcomes. For a long time, personas have been the go-to tool for user researchers to build empathy in business. But recently, personas have come under fire for being shortcuts to stereotypes.

In the Ministry of Justice, we face this challenge more than most. It could be argued that our service users are so misunderstood portrayed that 69% of people who leave prison in the UK re-offend in less than 12 months, costing British society 18.9 billion pounds a year. Our current approach to personas is only making these biases worse.

For six months, a small team of user researchers and a designer gained unparalleled access to prisons across England and Wales to reimagine and unlock the real potential of personas.

In this talk, the team will share the story that questions whether it is the tool or the process of personas that is broken. They will also expose the challenges behind breaking one of societies' most ingrained stereotypes using one of researchers oldest tools.

Participant takeaways:

  • An overview of what has killed personas
  • A detailed step by step on how to build better personas
  • Tips on how to ensure your personas don’t end up in a drawer

This session will be:

  • Delivered: Live
  • Recorded: Yes
  • Has a participant number cap: No

Themes: Methods, User Research, Thought-provoking

About the speaker(s)