The concept of personas involves the creation of a fictional set of archetypal users for a system. The users are given stories, such as age, education, background, and lifestyle. The creation of personas aids with getting into the mindset of a user in order to better create, test, and critique a system.
Good sets of personas have variety, containing identities of a few average users of varying experience levels. This allows for better drafting of requirements for a system by associating the product with a user and a base of users.
Let's try it.
- Web developer
- Likes design
- Certified in computer science
- Wants to start a site of his own
This is a start but it feels impersonal and bare. We want to create an identity we can associate with to remind us of who we are designing for.
More often than not, when designing a system for a long time it is difficult to stop thinking like a designer or a developer and think like a user might. Creating rich personas can assist with thinking more in line with a real user.
- Web application developer
- Interested in 2-dimensional and user interface design, but doesn't know enough about it
- Earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Ohio University's Russ College of Engineering and Technology
- Reads a lot of horror novels, enjoys Japanese Role-Playing Games, collects vintage watches
- Wants to start a site of his own for a potential product, but doesn't know the best ways of planning out an interface on his own
Familiarity with Web
- Considers himself pretty knowledgable about the web — frequents many technical forums and a frequent reviewer of Amazon products
- High competency of the web
- Sometimes annoyed by guides that are too long, but also lacking technical details and references
Image Source: thispersondoesnotexist.com
This is much better. There is enough information to make the identity more personal and real, and already there is more of a connection between us, if we were working on designbyte as a team, and potential users fitting this archetype.
Consider creating a singular persona for each archetypal user. For designbyte, we would probably want two personas: users with high web competency (like Samuel) and users with medium competency. As it stands, this site is more oriented for those with at least some knowledge of the web, so creating a persona for a user with low competence of the web may not be necessary.
Conclusions About Personas
Creating personas for archetypal users can create a stronger connection between a system's team and the users. This can result in much more user-centric requirements and, in turn, a more usable system. Avoid creating too many personas, limiting them to just a few, in order to keep them more personal. Try to base personas off of concrete research and user analysis.
For more tips on this practice, visit Adobe's article on Putting Personas to Work.