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Persona training pilot

We piloted a new training session this week on personas. UX consultant Marianne O’Loughlin delivered the session for us, having worked with me over the past couple of months to pull the session together.

Having used personas at the UWP for about 5 years now, I have been promoting their use and seeing interest in this UX technique steadily growing. Having 40 or so colleagues turn up for a persona-themed UX interest group session in November, I felt perhaps the time was right to offer training that would empower colleagues to develop and use their own personas in website and applications development projects.

Working in partnership with an external consultant

Marianne O’Loughlin ran an excellent persona workshop for us, working with the Visiting Students Office last summer. I was away on paternity leave so couldn’t fit the project in, but knew she was a great person to bring in having met her regularly over the years at UX networking events in Edinburgh.

So asking her to pool her training materials with mine to generate the new course was a no-brainer. And what an excellent job she did; creating and delivering a two and a half hour session that mixed seminar with practical activities that gave attendees a good grounding in what personas are all about and how they can be created to support a design and development project.

The practical activity involved developing personas to help inform the redevelopment of a doctor’s surgery website, and prioritise potential new features.


We had twelve colleague take part in the pilot session – staff from the UWP, the Student Experience Project, IS and a few members of the UX mailing list who were fastest to reply!

 I think the session was great for spreading the word about the usefulness of persona…

I thought this really was an excellent event and will definitely be recommending it to colleagues…

Marianne is a great tutor facilitator… [the session] …has helped me feel more confident about approaching a web project I’m involved with, where we may well use personas.

Further sessions

And I’m really pleased to announce that Marianne will be running the session a further three times between now and the summer, after which the UWP will pick up and run this on an ongoing basis. Dates wiill be announced shortly.

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