Modeling Personas

About the Project

Our product teams were at a pivotal moment with new team members coming onboard to lead the multi-platform product suite forward. In one year, WeWork hired 6,000 people across the globe.

We needed to quickly get all team members, new and existing, and stakeholders on the same page about the goals, vision and intention of our products and services.

This project’s goal was to define the user group focused on Real Estate — their goals, motivations and behaviors so that we could enable effective and efficient product development across multi-disciplinary teams.

My Role

Designed, managed & executed the research plan; Got leadership buy-in to build a team; Created a budget and managed the logistics; Developed the insights and the presentation of these insights to leadership; Facilitated a design studio with the product teams to bring the findings to life.


I designed and developed, “Get to Know Your Users,” with creative direction from one of my colleagues. It included two personas, John and Leah, and an experience map that showed how John and Leah work together, as well as, another experience map that showed activities, technologies and touch points from sourcing a deal to closing a deal.

My Process


What We Needed to Learn

Prior to field research, we spent time with stakeholders and subject matter experts from the Real Estate organization to familiarize ourselves with the biggest opportunities for the organization and challenges they face as WeWork expands across the globe. We also got a snapshot of the structure of the teams and how these teams wanted to grow in the future.

Then, we looked at the data. Working alongside the analyst on the team, we looked at current deals in the pipeline, and the desk goals for them, so that we could visualize how these new projects would impact staffing on the Real Estate and Development teams in the next year.

Looking at the data helped us understand where to conduct our field interviews and observations. We decided to focus on our largest user group first, sticking to US East and US West. Once we understood this group, we’d travel to Latin America and potentially China. Two teams (notetaker and interviewer) spent three days in both US East & US West interviewing and observing the different members of the deal teams. Then, we came back to NYC and downloaded the interviews together.


Finding the Patterns

During define, I modeled out the personas, mapping each person we interviewed to behavior continuums. There were two main environment continuums as well: whether your role was mostly behind the scenes or customer facing and related if you spent most of your time in the office versus out of the office.

The behavior continuums were:

  • communicating internally or communicating externally
  • created reports and models or influencing and directing reports and models
  • writing (documents) or reading (documents)
  • involved in pieces of the process or involved in the whole process
  • binding agreements or non-binding agreements

Key Moments in Leah and John’s Day-to-Day

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