Personas on Facebook?

At work, we are evolving our Agile development process so that the stories we write, backlog, and iterate are informed by carefully crafted personas. This  helps us focus on the types of people who use our site and products, and the types of people internally and externally who will use our knowledge management and training.  Our information architecture department, of which I am a member, will own the personas.

In the world of experience design, a persona is a mental model, or archetype, of a class or type of user.  It’s a one-page psychological profile of an imaginary person who represents a distinct set of goals and the behavior patterns that may cascade from those goals.  A persona is methodically crafted from a synthesis of rigorous research.

I’ve been thinking about how to best roll out our new personas, so that folks will really get to know them in a way that brings the personas to life.

One idea I had is to develop Facebook pages for the personas.  The personas would friend everyone in our organization. Then, each day, I’d add news for each persona. I would add photos over time. But I have a few doubts about my idea.

  • Is there an ethical issue in creating a Facebook page for a person who isn’t real?
  • Is there a problem with confidentiality of the information, in that it would be too easy for another company to access our personas?
  • How would our people react to the idea? Would they think it was fun and useful?

4 thoughts on “Personas on Facebook?

  1. I would recommend Yammer. I hear it is Facebook and Twitter for employees protected behind a secure view. This would be much safer.

    I definitely wouldn’t put company assets like that on Facebook unless your competitors couldn’t gain from it in any way!

    • Thanks for the advice! I immediately got an account on Yammer and downloaded the app. I discovered that 14 people from my company area already Yammer members…not too many, but it’s a start. Now the question would be whether this app could gain the kind of traction here that would make it useful…I’ll give it a whirl.

  2. Joanna, thanks for this idea. I have heard a lot of people using secured twitter accounts to teach. Students are asked to take on a personna (even a historical person) and write their tweets aligned to the personna. It forces students to express what they have learned in a “different voice.”

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