And then it started to get persona

When I crafted the personas for FastPay, the process uncovered an important unmet need

When I joined FastPay, they had recently completed version 1 of their client portal, which was completed without any UX guidance. There were a number of assumptions that were not yet proved, and I immediately began going to client sites in Los Angeles and San Francisco to observe users attempting to complete tasks.

At each site we would interview others besides the day-to-day users to get an overview of typical organizational needs and the sorts of people involved in adtech companies that ranged from four people around a table to a San Francisco penthouse location that occupied two floors.

As I analyzed the desired functionality, the user testing and the cross-section of people I had interviewed, I began to coalesce around some basic personas. After I had the information validated with the product team, I collaborated with a visual designer in marketing to produce persona posters that were prominently displayed in a common space.

Once we had the personas identified, we discovered something interesting: we had no real product to meet the needs of the CEO once the company grew to a certain size. As long as the CEO had a small company, the basic functionality could meet her needs. But once the operations function took over the daily interaction with the FastPay software, there was nothing to keep the CEO informed about the status of the account at a high level.

In enterprise software, the buyer often makes a decision on functionality rather than user experience. For this reason, it’s important to show value to the buyer because he/she is not familiar with the day-to-day value of the software.

In order to provide value to the CEO, I suggested a simple mobile app that would provide read-only real-time data similar to the portal dashboard that he could access anywhere for quick updates and to prove the value of the FastPay relationship on a daily basis rather than just when it came time to renew the contract.

The proposed mobile application to provide value to the CEO persona

You can see the interaction in the mobile prototype I created to demonstrate the concept. Best viewed on a phone of course! You don’t actually need login credentials; it’s a prototype. Just click the log-in button to see it.

Image: Unsplash, Rohit Tandon