This exercise was co-created as part of a collaboration day between myself and Paul Goddard


30-60 minutes


Top Trait templates

Photographs of stakeholders


  1. Explain that this is an exercise to help provide some context around the users of the system
  2. For each user type or specific persona, someone (perhaps the Product Owner) will explain their background and how they use the product or system
  3. During the explanation capture relevant information about that person/user type in the Top Trait template
  4. The system factors have been pre-populated and just need scoring
  5. The human factors are free-form and could be anything that tell us information about how this user’s needs or behaviours may influence design considerations, priorities etc

Learning Points: 

  • Gives the development team an understanding of the users of their product
  • Gives the development team an empathy for their users


  1. Create Top Traits based on the results of real user interviews
  2. Create Top Traits based on fake users and collect photographs from the internet
  3. Try some different system/human factors
  4. Can also be used as a team development tool when coupled, for example, with Journey Lines. Team members listen to a someone’s journey line and build a picture of their team-mates skills and qualities