MPACT: Agile Behavior Based Personas


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Imagine that you’re designing a financial planning app. Which persona gives you the most actionable information?

Option #1
A 40-year-old attorney who’s married, lives in Portland, Maine and makes $80k a year.

Option #2
A person who’s not detail-oriented, prefers a hands-off approach, delegates decisions to others, and is overwhelmed by complexity.

There’s a striking difference between the two options. Age, income, and marital status may be helpful for marketers, but demographic-based personas don’t offer the actionable insights you need to design awesome experiences. Option 2 is a behavior-based persona, which helps you make product decisions based on the personality traits that your audience exhibit and provides far more actionable information.

Building a better persona
As human-centered designers, we devote a good portion of our early project hours trying to understand the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of the people we’re designing for. Without gaining this understanding quickly, our designs may end up being ineffective and unsuccessful. That’s why Mad*Pow created MPACT!

MPACT is a persona-building framework for anyone who wants to use an understanding of human behavior and the power of play to design better products and services. MPACT takes a facilitator and a team of diverse stakeholders on a step-by-step journey, from user research to project objectives to a mutually agreed-upon design direction.

Teams leave an MPACT session with:

  • A set of three to six behavior-based personas that solve for mutually agreed-upon goals
  • Actionable design tips based on relevant behavior attributes
  • A deep sense of investment and ownership for the personas, and the ability to speak on their behalf and champion them within their organization.

Instructive Webinar


    MPACT KIT: $1,000

    The MPACT kits have rich content based on hundreds of hours of research with people who inhabit the health and personal finance ecosystems, as well as peer-reviewed research studies in psychology and behavioral economics. Each kit comes with a robust facilitator's guide with prompts, guidance, and step-by-step instructions.


    MPACT TRAINING WORKSHOP: $8,500 - $10,000

    While the MPACT kits come with a robust Facilitator's Guide, we've realized that the best path to adoption includes hands-on training for facilitators. Bringing many voices — and their competing goals — to the table means facilitators must feel comfortable with the process and their ability to keep it moving along.


    MPACT LITE: Free

    MPACT Lite is a print-it-yourself Creative Commons version of MPACT. This less robust version contains everything you need to learn the MPACT framework and run a session in any industry. Get your own copy of MPACT Lite.



    We can create custom engagements related to your organization's needs. From conducting research with your audience to inform an MPACT workshop, to delivering a custom MPACT kit for your organization, there are a variety of other ways to engage.


    How might you use the Health and/or Finance MPACT kits and workshops to get cross-functional teams aligned on human-centered design directions? Fill out the form below and we will help you set up time to chat with our resident MPACT experts.