Online Workshop- A Day in the Life

Learning Objectives


This Day in the Life workshop walks through a simple exercise to help participants develop better personas: a day in the life. When learning how to develop high quality personas, most of my students initially struggle with getting down to real details about real people and presenting those in a vivid way. It’s not because it’s really hard or most people aren’t able; it’s just a new skill, a new way of going about customer discovery.

This workshop/exercise will take you through a series of photos representative of a certain persona, and then asks you a few questions about them. There isn’t a right answer but there is a right process: Think about what you’ve seen and on that basis what you’d infer about the person. Wish you had more info about each? Great- let that stoke your desire to go out and do really good customer discovery.

In summary, the learning objectives are:

  1. Creating better personas, personas that are more
    • real
    • vivid
  2. Learning to do better customer discovery

Preparation & Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites, though this closely related to the topic of personas and design thinking in general. For a quick overview on personas, see the Personas Tutorial. For a structured workshop on using design thinking for your project or venture, see:  Venture Design I (Achieving Customer Relevance).

Note: This workshop is a good fit either before or after this exercise.

Instructor notes: The checklists below describe ‘minimum viable preparation’ and additional related preparation.

Minimum Viable Preparation

None- dive right in! You’ll want something to write on.


1. Slides

The following are the workshop slides, on SlideShare:

2. Screencast

This is a video of yours truly delivering the explanatory portions of the workshop.


Workshop Agenda 

90 min’s + 8 min/student presentation

ID Item Time (min.) Materials & Technique
Intro’s and set up on ideas 7 Slides 1-24
For each ‘day in the life’ subject 5 Slides: 25-72


Currently there are five subjects, so this would be 25 minutes, about a half hour total. There’s no real downside to doing these across several sittings if you’re pressed for time.

Closing materials 1 Slides 73-75


This is just a few closing notes and my contact info, etc..