Münster University of Applied Sciences, based in the Westphalian city Münster with another department in Steinfurt, is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in Germany, with over 15,000 students in twelve departments.
The Department of University Communication is responsible for advising various departments of the University of Applied Sciences on the communication with their users (students, teachers, prospective students, etc.).
The Münster University of Applied Sciences has been working with the Persona Method for some time. For that the employees have autodidactically gathered knowledge on how to create and use personas.
The goal of the in-house training was to create an equal level of knowledge among all employees, so that no one has to deal with the topic individually anymore.
The participants should learn what personas are, how they are created and how they can be used profitably in projects.
At the beginning of the training, the participants learned the basics of the Persona Method. We also introduced the Persona Life Cycle and discussed advantages and disadvantages of different persona types (research based vs. prototypical).
We then provided the participants with a useful tool for gathering internal knowledge on the users: Empathy Maps. As a central unit, the Department of University Communication is tasked by different areas of the university and needs to gather the project stakeholders’ knowledge about the respective target groups. Empathy Maps are ideal for collecting initial assumptions. This method was presented and practiced during the training.
Furthermore, the practical utilization of personas in the course of a project was discussed using practical examples.
“From our usability tests we received professionally prepared results with concrete and comprehensible recommendations. These did not only help to optimize our portal for different target groups. We were also able to better illustrate internally the relevance of a good user experience. Since the cooperation with usability.de was very pleasant at all times, we decided to ask the agency for training in the Persona method as well. Again, we could rely on the fact that the training content could be easily transferred to the university context and thus enrich our project work.”