Week 5 Lecture: Personas

This week’s lecture introduced user and artefact personas.

interactive design overview.png

User Personas

First we are shown an image that is a good and noteworthy overview of the interactive design process.

Next is an overview of user personas. These are hypothetical fictional yet realistic users created to help designers:

  • understand their userbase
  • inform and validate designs
  • design with the user in mind
  • have a non vague idea of your users

It also helps when creating user personas to define certain details being:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Likes/Dislikes
  • Personality
  • Other details germane to the product such as:
    • Behaviour patterns
    • Goals
    • Skills
    • Attitudes
    • Their environment or content

Next there are factors that need consideration when developing personas being:

  • How to best satisfy core and if possible fringe audience.
  • The chance to be specific with personas when designing for a smaller audience.
  • What tasks are your users trying to perform?
  • What devices are your users likely to use?
  • Discovery vs specific path navigation.
  • What mental models (thought process) will your users use?

Artefact Personas

Artefact Personas are personas that are applied to a project or product instead of a user. A few questions to consider for this are:

  • If the interface were a person, what would he or she be like?
  • How would you expect users to react when they first view the product?
  • How would you describe the product to a friend?
  • How is the product different from competitive products?
  • Which celebrity (or car, movie, etc.) is the product most like?
    • Least Like?
    • Why?

Another important step in designing artefact personas is developing experience keywords. These are a series of words that describe the personality of your product and can help with visual strategy. This process starts with a large amount of categorized words that are refined to small lists.

Reflection/The Most Important Point

To me the most important point of this lecture was the one at the end. This point refers to the first picture shown in the lecture also being the one at the top of this post. This point is the importance of not skipping the user persona design. This is because skipping this can lead to a less successful project. This is due to the extra time that would be required trying to figure out and understand the design problem.

References

Interactive Design Overview [Image]. Retrieved 26/03/17 from https://vimeo.com/159734165

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