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Guerrilla UCD Live: Agile UX & Persona-Driven Design

Image of front and back of man showing suggested content for persona (front) and recruiting profile (back)

Three days of courses and workshops on how to design for users in an Agile or lean environment. Full details below. Contact us with any questions.

Next Available

  • Most of the content outlined below is available at the DevConFu conference in Jurmala (Latvia). The 2-day Persona-Driven Design workshop will be run on 26 & 27 May, before the main conference. And a half-day version of Agile UX & UCD will be presented on the conference workshop day (28 May).


Our Guerrilla UCD Live event is a combination of a one-day course examining the main issues around effective user experience and user-centred design in Agile/lean environments plus a two-day hands-on workshop taking participants through the user-centred design cycle from user research through to design maps and visual specifications.

Participants are encouraged to attend all three days but this is not absolutely essential. The focus of day 1 is primarily Agile while days 2 and 3 concentrate on user-centred techniques; particularly personas and persona stories.

On this page:


Three full days (9:30 pm to 5:00 pm), lunch included:

  • Day 1: Agile UX
  • Days 2 & 3: Persona-Driven Design (day 1 is a recommended precursor, but not essential)


(For more about Persona Stories see William's article in ACM Interactions by visiting

Agile User Experience (day 1, course format)

You will learn about ...

  • Basic characteristics of Agile development
  • Primary differences between waterfall and Agile user experience
  • Empathy gap, balanced teams and embedded user experience roles
  • Need for empathetic design
  • Design decision styles and minimum viable products (MVPs)
  • Personas and the persona myths
  • User and persona stories (see
  • Integrating usability evaluation
  • Persuasive facilitation
  • Design maps

Persona-Driven Design (days 2 & 3, workshop format)

You will learn how to ...

  • Research and develop personas
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary personas
  • Persuade colleagues and managers of their effectiveness
  • Relate features and user stories to personas
  • Develop user stories into conceptual models and wireframes
  • Use sketching and prototyping techniques appropriately


Agile User Experience (day 1, course format)

  • Brief introduction to Agile (the benefits of iterative and incremental development)
  • Waterfall versus Agile UX (how and why UXD should be part of the main development effort)
  • The empathy gap and balanced teams (the need for both empathizing and systemizing skills in development)
  • Empathetic design (techniques to promote empathy within teams)
  • Design decision styles and minimum viable products (different approaches to design)
  • Personas and persona myths (focusing on real people rather than abstract representations)
  • User stories versus persona stories (addressing the shortcomings of user stories from a UX perspective)
  • Usability evaluation and feature-oriented planning (making usability evaluation part of each cycle and how to plan for it)
  • Persuasive facilitation (convincing colleagues and managers about the benefits of usable design - stimulate, explain & engage)
  • Design maps (collaborative communication between and UX and development streams)

Persona-Driven Design (days 2 & 3, workshop format)

  • User research and affinity diagramming (discovering what users need and communicating it to the team)
  • Persona development (focus on behaviours and needs, creating personas)
  • Persona-weighted feature matrix (prioritizing stories according to their benefits to users)
  • Mapping user stories to design (design maps of means of UX & development stream collaboration)
  • Conceptual modelling (the need for a user-centred view of the solution's features)
  • Wireframes, sketching and prototyping techniques (appropriate use of visual communication)


Usability, UX and UCD practitioners; designers developers and managers with an interest in creating user-centred solutions and great user experiences. Participants with minimal experience of user experience, user-centred design and usability are encouraged to attend all three days.


William Hudson is a User Experience Strategist who consults, writes and teaches in the fields of user-centred design, user experience and usability. He has over 40 years experience in the development of interactive systems, initially with a background in software engineering. William was the product and user interface designer for the Emmy-award-winning "boujou"; now an indispensable tool in major film studios. He has specialized in interaction design and human-computer interaction since the late 1980's. William has written and taught courses that have been presented to hundreds of software and web developers, designers and managers in the UK, North America and Europe. He is the founder and principal consultant of Syntagm, a consultancy specializing in the design of interactive systems established in 1985.

William has presented papers, talks and tutorials at a number of international conferences including CHI, UPA and Nielsen Norman Group Usability Week.

William has worked with a wide variety of clients, from startups to established multi-nationals (click here to see our client list). He is was the courses co-chair for CHI 2013 and is the creator of persona stories.

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