Victoria O'Callaghan

Senior Associate, Strategy at SapientNitro

Fri 20 May, 2016, 14:00

SPONSORED BY SAPIENTNITRO: The Death (and Rebirth) of the Persona

Empathy is at the heart of creating impactful customer experiences. But all too often, customer-centric solutions are designed for hyper-rational stereotypes. Or worse still, are a jumble of nonsensical characteristics which fail to resemble any human being.

We believe that the persona as we know it is becoming obsolete. We have more access to data and quant insight than ever before – but it just tells us what people do. It doesn’t help us understand how they feel, what they desire, or even fear. Perhaps biometric information will give us more insight into what people really feel… But at the moment we have to trust what people say.

So we set ourselves the challenge of redesigning the persona to better reflect what it is to be human. And now we want to share it with you:

  • Starting wth a mindful mediation, we’ll learn how to become aware of our personal preconceptions and identify biases towards the audiences we design for.
  • We’ll critique the ‘vanilla’ persona and present some ideas of personas that we believe do a better job than anything we’ve seen in the industry
  • Then participants will be let loose on creating their own multi-sensory persona based on a task we’ll set, which will be presented back to the wider group for assessment.

This interactive workshop shows how combining mindfulness techniques, empathetic listening, and multi-sensory inputs can help us design for the entire human experience – messy, contradictory and emotional.

Please note: if you're attending this session, you should bring... a laptop.

About Victoria O'Callaghan

Victoria didn’t originally plan on working in the world of advertising and digital. After starting her career at Agent Provocateur, she studied for an MA in History of Medicine specialising in HIV/AIDS. By a series of remarkable coincidences - and an avid interest in the emotional complexity of curated identities - she landed her perfect job as an experience strategist.

At SapientNitro Victoria has worked on projects for a multitude of clients including McLaren, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Public Health England, Liberty of London, Chanel, Lycra, RBS and Save the Children. Victoria’s role centres on understanding what it means to exist in today’s digitally democratised world, and in turn the challenges and opportunities this creates for her clients.

When she’s not philosophising about the human condition, she can be found training to be a yoga teacher or harassing her cat – Fat Beatrice.

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