Changes and similarities in the application of the method
Even though this survey was done as independent research with interviews in 12 core companies, it is interesting to compare with the previous study done in 2009 to see if there are changes in the application of the method
Before doing so it is important to stress that the surveys are different in focus, they have different questionnaires, and the previous survey did not include questions on personas in an international perspective.
More companies use personas
Comparing the surveys it is evident that more companies have used the method for a longer period of time. Still most common is to have used the method between one to four years, but at present more companies have used the method as long as up till ten years.
In the 2013 survey all interviewed companies have participated in developing personas this is different from the previous survey as here more companies had personas entirely developed by consultancies. In the 2013 survey some companies had consultancies or business partners help them in the personas development process, but they had all partaken in the process or done the entire work in-house.
It spreads in ever-widening circles
A new trend in using personas is a chance in the companies systems developing method and more mention that they started using personas when they began to develop using agile methods. Common in the surveys are that most interviewed mentions positive experiences from their own network as the reason why they started using the method.
Level of satisfaction
There is no difference in how satisfied the companies are in using the method and the benefits the method provides in the different surveys. The mentioned benefits are that it provides a common language to describe the users and their needs. Only one disadvantage is mentioned and that is that the method is expensive and time consuming.
The challenges differ amongst the two studies: in 2009 the main challenge was to make the method visible in the organisation. This seems no longer to be a problem some companies even report that they have difficulties in keeping up with the organisation’s demand for personas. Even though it was difficult to make the method visible in 2009 personas were mainly positively received. In 2013 it is no longer a problem to create awareness and focus on the method, but it happens that it is met with resistance from either management or colleagues.