There are a few questions here about personas, and research methods that you might use in order to create them, (some of which I've answered at length). Examples include:
However, I have an exciting opportunity to create a set of personas less directly connected to the users themselves. More specifically, the personas relate to:
- A department within an organisation, as distinct from other departments
- Each set of product lines within that department
- Individual products within those product lines
There are of course real people involved in the department, the products, etc. There are those that work in the organisation, those that develop the products, and those that use the products, but the personas are not about those people.
The intention is to drive future development and design in a consistent manner within a division and across products. It's not as focused or directed as a style guide - it's like a persona for a user experience, that covers all touchpoints.
For example, these personas could anthropomorphise elements into human traits and characteristics, or they might communicate through human emotional channels like colour, shape, art, elements of nature, sound, voice, tone, music.
We can use some elements of traditional persona research. For example, interviewing stakeholders is ok, but ethnographic research is out. We can validate the persona with real product users to see if they identify them with the product, but obviously can't ask the products if they identify with its own persona.
So what alternative or additional tools and methods could we use to create and validate such personas.