This week on the podcast we are speaking to Senior User Researcher Mabel Chan and Principal User Researcher Alyssa Vincent-Hill—both on the UX Salesforce team. We’re diving deep into the world of personas and discussing how our research team uses personas to help us better understand our customers.
Join us as Mabel and Alyssa define personas and examine how admins can apply personas to better understand our users and supplement the transition to Lightning.
You should subscribe to the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Mabel and Alyssa.
What’s The Big Deal with Personas?
Personas help us to formalize our understanding of our Salesforce users across the various clouds. The research team at Salesforce has been surveying hundreds of thousands of Salesforce users (including admins) and taking that information by using behaviors that people have reported to them in order to craft categories of users. These categories help them to better understand what traits, needs, and attitudes tend to float together so that they may make a generalization to help them tailor their development as well as research and communication to better serve various types of users.
How Admins Can Understand The Personas Of Their Users
Admins don’t necessarily have to use surveys to develop personas for their users. Interviews can be extremely effective, too. You can take thirty to sixty minutes to sit down with various types of users one-on-one. During these interviews, you can ask users questions about their everyday goals and what activities and tools that they use to achieve those goals. You can also ask them how tech and Salesforce savvy they are. Some additional questions to ask include:
- What motivates you?
- What capabilities do you have?
- What does success mean to you?
- What is the best part of your job?
As Mabel says, “You can really scale down a huge survey into more easy to bite interviews and conversations with your users.”
Personas vs. Job Roles
A persona deals with a group of users and what they do outside the Salesforce platform. There is, however, definitely some overlap and at first, it may seem a bit confusing at first, Mabel admits. “Personas and profiles do overlap a little bit, but profiles may include more than one persona and personas are a tool that anyone can use.” She also explains that “profiles are a way to give the right settings and permissions for what different types of users can see and do in Salesforce.”
Job behavior is essential in crafting personas. You can understand personas better by looking at core job behaviors and talking to users about what they spend most of their time doing during the day. “Most of us have core tasks that we stick to and that are consistent with our role over time, so identifying those tasks are essential in identifying personas. Personas are a great user-centered design tool and are extremely beneficial in helping to optimize Salesforce. As Mabel describes it, “understanding personas will help admins better design Salesforce to make their company run better.”
Personas Assist in The Transition to Lightning
Understanding personas are critical when transitioning to Lightning. It’s about crafting the ideal profile and permission sets for each persona, which will help you understand the various pain points your users are facing. “It helps you sort of break it into chunks. We’re going to focus on this group first—we’re going to implement it for them and then get feedback from them on how the implementation is going.” Alyssa recommends that you make tweaks to your implementation process. “Use it as a pilot group, but a really focused pilot group that as an admin you’ve done some research with, have talked to current users, and have a good understanding which hopefully would help to set that up for success,” suggests Alyssa.
For more insights, make sure to follow Alyssa Vincent-Hill on Twitter @a_vincenthill.
- “Build better with UX” – User Research and Persona Trails on Trailhead
- Salesforce User Research Program
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