Process & Deliverables
1. Define Project
I wrote a project brief to align my team.
2. Align Stakeholders
I created a 54-slide deck to educate and inform stakeholders. I presented this deck to stakeholders and answered their questions about the overall research initiative.
3. Plan Interviews
I created an interview script to ensure that qualitative data collected from interviews aligned with project goals.
4. Identify and Prepare Interviewees
I handpicked 40+ participants from a screened list and emailed them a pre-work exercise to complete before the interview. I specifically chose participants that would represent all backgrounds and all parts of the business.
5. Conduct Interviews
I scheduled and facilitated interviews with the help of multiple note takers. I used an interview checklist to ensure that all project goals were met for each interview.
6. Analyze Interviews
After each interview I recorded findings, questions, and ideas for future research. I then sorted interview-specific insights into a custom interview findings spreadsheet.
7. Affinity Mapping
I manually sorted digital post-it notes to identify patterns in the research findings and form persona groups.
8. Survey Users to Check Affinity Mapping Findings
I wrote a branched survey in order to check qualitative findings against quantitative data.
9. Incorporate People Data
I worked with a data analyst to review people systems data and assign data-based attributes to personas.
Image 4: A draft "wireframe" for a journey map deliverable.
10. Draft Deliverables
I drafted the layout of deliverables such as journey maps, profiles, and at-a-glance guides. I used drafts to set stakeholder expectations and socialize the proposed format with the target audience.
11. Design Personas Images and Names to be Diverse and Inclusive
I worked with experts in Mercer's Diversity and Inclusion function to make sure personas were truly representative of our Mercer's base. This process included gathering broad colleague feedback on images and names, sourcing new brand images, and a requesting review from Mercer's racial and ethnic diversity business resource group global leads.
12. Design At-a-glance Persona Overviews
At-a-glance guides included key statistics about each persona taken from broad data about Mercer employees. Examples include the percentage of the overall user population each persona represented and the average tenure of each persona. Qualitative data such as top pain points is also included. The Overview was designed as a quick reference and as an asset that could easily be inserted into a presentation slide.
13. Design Journey Maps
Journey maps showcase a day in the life of each persona as they complete tasks that are essential to their role. These maps help contextualize pain points, issues, and unmet needs. They also indicate the range of emotions employees experience while completing tasks.
14. Design Detailed Persona Profiles
Persona profiles summarize all information about personas in a written format. They are for people who prefer to read long-form articles or for people who like to print files, mark up text, or write in the margins. They are also easier to open and read on the standard issue laptop available at Mercer.
Figure 5: While almost all of my interviews were virtual, I did have the chance to run an in-person stakeholder workshop. During this session I led global company leaders in exercises that required them to take the perspective of Mercer personas. This helped them internalize the research.
15. Socialize and Share Results
I created an internal site to host research and final deliverables. I presented research and final deliverables to senior stakeholders and colleagues. I also published information about my research process on my internal company blog.