Developing User Personas as a way of Managing Knowledge About Ecolabnet Project Participants


  • Grzegorz Chmielarz Czestochowa University of Technology



eco-innovations, knowledge management, personas, SMEs


One of the vital elements that decide about a success, or a failure of a project is adjusting its offer to the requirements of the beneficiaries. Various methods and tools are used in this respect to make the project’s offer consistent with these requirements and guarantee that they are satisfied. One of the methods used in this area is application of user personas. The idea is extensively used in the field of computer-human interactions, as it allows to improve user experience as well as the whole communication in the process of developing IT systems. However, the use of personas is not limited only to designing computer-based systems and solutions. The concept of personas has been also exploited in the Ecolabnet project, financed by Interreg, and implemented in six partner countries in the years 2019-2021. The process of knowledge management in the project assumed gathering the knowledge on its future beneficiaries  - manufacturing SMEs from the Baltic Sea Region – and adjusting the offer of the project consortium (RDIs and Intermediary Organisations) to the signalled needs of these enterprises. To facilitate the management of knowledge on the enterprises investigated in the project the concept of persons was used. The underlying objective of the paper is to present the process of transforming the knowledge on project participants into the concept of personas. It consists of two parts. The first part, the theoretical one includes the results of a literature review that provides essential knowledge on utilising the concept of personas in design and management processes. The second part, the empirical one, is based on the empirical research that was conducted at the initial stage of the project. The answers provided in the survey questionnaire allowed for identification of primary needs and barriers in the area of eco-innovations development. This knowledge has led to determining main personas of the project. The analysis of the process of mapping the project users’ needs and objective is supposed to answer the following research question: Does the application of personas concept in service design positively contributes to management of knowledge in international projects?