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What are mindsets?
Mindsets are ways to describe how groups of people think, feel and behave when interacting with a product or service. They are research-based. They generally do not have any demographic information associated with them such as gender, age, marital status etc.
Mindsets vs personas - what is the difference? There is not yet one definition of mindsets or personas or the difference between them.
Generally speaking personas attempt to represent a group into one person, usually with an image, a story, and key demographic information. A mindset doesn’t add these fictional elements.
High quality personas and mindsets have more in common than differences.
● Are created through deep qualitative interviews with a representative sample of the population
● Include some combination of attitudes, motivations, goals or behaviours.
Many UX practitioners have shifted away from giving personas names, ages, gender and a photo because it can confuse people trying to use the personas. It is hard for them to decipher what is research-based (usually the attitudes, motivations, goals) and what is made up (usually everything to make them appear as one ‘typical’ person).
> Validate these mindsets by running multiple workshops with customer facing employees:
-- Ask which of these mindsets feel familiar (you interface with these people regularly)
-- What of these mindsets are unfamiliar?
-- Which mindsets are missing?
-- Is there anything in any specific mindset that feels wrong to you or doesn't sit right?
How do you use these mindsets?
A. When designing a product or service
- Consider which of the mindsets reflect people who are most likely to use this service. You may want to chose one or two mindsets as your primary mindsets, and a few more as secondary mindsets.
- Think from that mindset, and design your information and services to best suit their needs.
- Conduct user research with people who align with your target mindsets along the way - you’ll learn more about the mindsets when you talk to more users so don’t be afraid to update these with more recent and relevant findings from your own research.
B. To support decision making
When making decisions that impact our users, it can be useful in meetings for attendees to put themselves into a mindset and observe possible decisions through the mindset’s eyes. This can be done by everyone taking on the same mindset one at a time, or for different attendees to represent different mindsets.
C. To run cognitive walkthroughs
A cognitive walkthrough involves stepping through a service or product flow with one mindset in mind. This doesn’t replace the need to test products with real users, but it is a helpful quick option when real user testing is not possible.
D. To build Empathy
Thankfully, putting ourselves in our users’ shoes as we design and build products and services has become more common across government in recent years. Mindsets are a helpful way to build this empathy, particularly with those that aren’t used to considering the end users of their product, service or decision.