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About personas

Personas as boundary objects

The Spotify article talked about personas being boundary objects. Meaning while there is a core piece of the artifact that is same across different context of uses, but the use depends on the context, possibly the interpretation in the different context. Very similar to how stories work - core is the same but retelling depends on the teller and the listeners. For product organisations this means there is a core part of the persona that stays the same for the whole organisation, but each team will have a different way of understanding.


  • We have to make sure the core is very explicit, doesn’t leave too much to the imagination.
  • There is space within the persona that teams need to fill out themselves.

How to do this? Maybe provide space within the description of the persona itself for additional notes (called “team notes” even). Maybe there are 2-3 layers even, core is the same for everyone, 1st layer is different per organisation (for marketing, for product etc) and 2nd layer is different per teams.

Personas vs market segments

There seems to be a need to add more data to personas almost to make it a very clear prioritasition or segmentation tool, possibly add even feature level highlight to it. Which doesn’t seem right, as we want personas to be more like real persons, not averages or even a range of people. A real(istic) person from a user group who is also not in the middle, but is a bit outside of the middle to show the overall trend the user group is moving towards.

Job titles vs “Name, the adjective” scheme

Job titles make the people more concrete, but can go also into the narrative. This is preferable, since relying just on job titles makes the persona less useful, for example it would restrict recruitment later on. “… the adjective” helps describing the behavior pattern, so seems the better approach even with very job title based (SaaS like) apps.

Creating personas