Personas Research and Storytelling

Telling stories is a good way to understand your consumer. It’s the idea persona research is built upon – good, solid consumer research becomes a story about people’s needs and wants that your team can use to design products or services.

But persona stories can be thin, giving the basics without any life, context, or emotion. It’s a problem inherent in research. We take the voices of many and turn them into an abstraction, a set of rules, or “insights” that are prescriptive rather than inspirational.

But inspiration is the important part and stories are what inspire.

I like this example. It’s fiction from science-fiction author Tim Maughn based on hard thinking about what daily life might be like in London, 2023. It shows us his vision alongside the mundane details of daily life. It’s fiction, but feels like real life.

The work is part of a larger series called Future Londoners. Nine other stories are available here.

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