Defining the Cast

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When designing a badge project, it's very easy to become blinded by the issuer's perspective. What skills do we think it's meaningful to recognise? How do we think they should be recognised? What evidence do we think should be required? How is it most convenient for us to assess whether or not the criteria has been met?

In order to create a meaningful representation of a trust relationship between issuer and earner, it's therefore important to where possible, stand in the shoes of the earner.

Defining the Cast is a simple exercise in order to help do just that by creating individual personas of stakeholders.

The Process

This exercise can be done by an individual, but it's much easier (and much more enjoyable) making it a conversational group exercise. Having a contrasting group of people also helps. A whiteboard is an ideal medium, but a large piece of paper will do just as well.

Bring to mind a person

Firstly, ask a member of the group to bring to mind a person with whom this programme would hope to have a succcess badging relationship.

Whilst asking questions, draw a quick profile on the board:

  • Which gender are they? Female
  • How old are they? 54
  • What is their name? Barbara
  • What do they do? Work in the Library
  • What is their position? Senior Librarian
  • What else do we know about them? Quite detailed. Likes everything to be in order. Good working relationship with her colleagues. Slightly threatened by some of the younger members of staff, who are very digital-savvy...

Wants and Needs

Once a picture has been painted of the person in question, think about these two questions:

  • What are their wants?
  • What are their needs?

Often it's at this point where insight relating to what might engage or be a win-win for this person.

Here's an example from the IDB Workshop:

An example of two personas.


After 15-20 minutes, take any last comments and move on. For the next persona, try to consider someone completely different from the last one, in order to cover as many bases as possible.