(Mis)Using Personas with the Seven Dwarfs - Cassandra H. Leung

(Mis)Using Personas with the Seven Dwarfs - Cassandra H. Leung


Most people working in software development have already heard of user personas. They might also be familiar with the seven dwarfs from Disney’s classic Snow White fairy tale. But is there some way that we can use personas and the seven dwarfs together, to help us build better software? Might it even be possible to use them to understand how inclusive, or exclusive, or our products are?

In this talk, Cassandra will provide a fresh take on the seven dwarfs and how to use personas. She’ll use the dwarfs as a starting point to demonstrate how you can create user personas that start with users’ mental states, rather than traditional demographics like age or income. We’ll then work outwards to discuss some situational factors and user goals, inspired by real life experiences. Along the way, we’ll practise empathy by exploring the impact that exclusion in software can have on the real people represented by our personas.

With the help of dwarfs, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey, and Doc, watch this talk to learn::

  • How we can use personas not only to picture who uses our products, but who our products might exclude
  • How we can, and should, think about users' mental states when building software
  • How situational factors mean that a single user can’t be represented by just one persona