We find it useful to create these low-fi personas with our clients at our kick-off meeting for a new project and it really gets them engaged by visualising their audience. It also allows us to start the process for user involvement at an early stage without any friction. Once we’ve created these personas (usually 4 or 5 to start off with), we then validate these through in-depth user interviews and then re-visit them after our research to determine which assumptions still stand and which can be binned.
Rather than doing these on paper or hacked using Word, Fireworks or similar, we thought it would be useful to have a simple web interface to create these and collaborate on them with clients (remotely if necessary). After 2 hack days and a couple of late nights, Personapp was born.
We’re currently finishing off a few little tweaks here and there but hope to have it a beta release in a few weeks. Watch this space. In the meantime you should probably sign up for our beta.
Also if you have any feedback on what you would find useful when creating personas feel free to share your thoughts here or on Twitter.
PS. It’s very MVP 🙂