How to Create Rich Personas Using Jobs to be Done to Inform Product Strategy


Presenter: Swapnali Thakar

August 14, 21 & 28
9 AM PT (San Francisco) / 12 PM ET (New York) / 6 PM CEST (Paris)

Three 60-minute online lectures.

Late Registration:

UXPA does allow for short course registration beyond the start date up until the last day of the course, registration for a course is officially closed once the course has concluded. Late enrollees will be given access to the short course slack channel and receive all course materials and links to recorded sessions that may have been missed. For any additional questions and concerns, please contact:

Course Registration Rates:
Students: $100
UXPA International Members: $200
Non-members: $350
(Value Option: become an Associate Member prior to course registration and you will still save $150 over non-members!)

Want a discount? Become a member by purchasing Student Membership or Global Sustaining Membership!


Personas have been a recent topic of controversy among the UX community. The common arguments are that they are not usually useful enough for teams to use the practically on a day-to-day basis. Things such as demographics and family situations of different personas may or may not be truly useful in defining what needs to be done in a product or service or how to make meaningful decisions based on personas. As Tony Ulwick points out “companies struggle to predictably create winning products because they fail to define their customers’ needs with the rigor, precision, and discipline that is required to discover, prioritize and capitalize on opportunities for growth.” In this course you will learn to do just that. Understand and document personas with rigor, precision and discipline.

You will have hands on experience in creating a personas using Jobs To Be Done. You will learn to properly write JTBD related to a persona and define the pains/challenges. You will also learn to analyze this information in order to ideate some innovative solutions.

Course Outline:

Week 1: Introduction to Jobs to be Done

  • Brief history of JTBD
  • Defining a Persona: Background, Objectives and JTBD

You will Learn:

  • How to design interviews to extract JTBD.
  • How to look for resources online to help bring precision and rigor to the description
  •  How to substantiate personas with industry/research stats.
  • How to effectively write JTBD.

Week 2: Define the pains and challenges of the persona

You will learn:

  • How to design interviews to extract pains
  • How to look for resources online to help bring precision and rigor to the description.
  • How to substantiate personas with industry/research stats.
  • How to effectively write Pains and Challenges

Week 3: Defining gains and opening doors for innovative ideas

You will learn:

  • How to identify the problem space
  • How to define the problem
  • Ideating techniques for innovation based on JTBD and Pains
  • Defining gains.

Meet Swapnali Thakar

Swapnali has a Master’s in Media Studies and has worked as a designer for the past 20 years. She started as a Graphic Designer in the print industry and gradually moved into designing for interactive media and web. A few years ago she decided to take formal training in UX Research and Design Practice and has been working in the field of UX Design and Product Strategy since then. Recently, she was the recipient of an innovation partner award for a project she led at Veriday, the company she currently works for.

A design thinker and systems thinker, Swapnali creates a human-centric vision and strategy for digital products and leads and coordinates between business, design, and technology as a decision-maker for the delivery and continuous improvement of those products.

Swapnali is a mother to a 5-year-old-animal-obsessed son with whom she creates YouTube movies with. In her spare time, she loves to paint and follow the Indian theatre scene quite closely.