Create Impactful Personas: Unleash the Power of Character Development

"I understood, through rehab, things about creating characters. I understood that creating whole people means knowing where we come from, how we can make a mistake and how we overcome things to make ourselves stronger." ― Samuel L. Jackson Character development is central to telling a good story. A story feels flat without well-rounded and believable…

Act Up, Designers!

Personas help us understand and empathize with the end user. A persona is a fictional representation of a target user group that helps to bring a human face to the data and insights gathered during research. However, to design genuinely empathic experiences, we need more than just personas to build a deep understanding of the user's emotional landscape. That's where character development comes in, and acting skills can expand our connection with the people we are designing for.

Innovate Like Shakespeare, Be Audience-centric

William Shakespeare was a playwright, poet and theatre owner who lived over 400 years ago. His work is still performed today, translated into countless languages, taught in schools and studied by scholars. How does someone achieve this type of longevity? Two words, Shakespeare was – ‘audience centric’.

Why Are We So Bad At Imagining The Future?

But this is not why is conceptualising what our lives will be like in the future is difficult. The wiring of our brains leads us to be bad at it. We evolved to think day by day. To survive situations as they occurred in weeks and months. And for hundreds of thousands of years, this has served us well.

Empathy Design : Characters For Personas

We listed the pain points and the pleasure points and mapped out what the persona was thinking and feeling. Then we started building out deeper insights. What did this persona need, that they may not even understand themselves?

I was feeling a bit lost. As an actress, a person who is trained in creating representations of real people, I knew I didn’t have the right information in front of me. If I had to play this persona as a character I would have no idea how to do it. I would not understand how to build dialogue that reflected how this person would see themselves and the world. I would be completely at a loss. And to compound the confusion the rest of my team seemed confident to build deeper and deeper insights.

Improving Empathy In Your Design Process, Create Characters For Your Personas!

Improving Empathy In Your Design Process, Create Characters For Your Personas! Human-centered designers use empathy-based processes to understand the people they are creating solutions for. Being able to see through another person’s eyes can feel like magic or good luck. And yet the tools to make this a repeatable and reliable process are within our…

Story: A Tool For Design Led Innovation

Once upon a time there was a president who was known primarily by his initials, JFK. He and the nation he represented was upset that Russia was beating them in a competition called the space race. Every day the USA and Russia ran against each other to be the ‘first’ when it came to exploring…

Berlin, The Final Stop On The Journey Of A Life Time

I am sitting in the office of a guest house in Bangkok. I have two large husky dogs at my feet and one under my chair. It is the end of a very long journey. I am waiting to go to the airport. I need to talk myself onto a plane, because I missed my…

Try, Try Again


Lean start up methodology urges us to fail fast and often. Design thinking asks you to prototype and ideate. Workplace cultures are striving to become less structured so we can have the space to play and discover. Are these new ideas? I would argue no, ever heard the old adage, “If at first you don’t…

Play To Overcome Your Fears!


“WE ARE AT A CRITICAL POINT WHERE RAPID CHANGE IS FORCING US TO LOOK NOT JUST TO NEW WAYS OF SOLVING PROBLEMS BUT TO NEW PROBLEMS TO SOLVE.” -TIM BROWN Have no fear! Overcoming your blocks is a very difficult thing to achieve. How do we overcome our blocks? With play. When was the last…