The purpose of this lab is to give students practice in creating Personas for any given Project.
The outcome of this lab session is that students will be able to:
- Critically look at the information that you have obtained through any Need Finding techniques (such as Interviews or Ethnographic studies)
- Create realistic Persona
- Know what details to add and what to leave out
The first stage of starting any intranet or website design project understands the needs of your users. Only after understanding the needs of the user it is possible to identify the features and functionality that will make the intranet or website a success, and how the design can support users with different goals and levels of skill.
There are many ways to identify the needs of users, such as usability testing, interviewing users, discussions with business stakeholders, and conducting surveys. However, one technique that has grown in popularity and acceptance is the use of personas: the development of archetypal users to direct the vision and design of a web solution.
What Are Personas?
Personas are archetypal users of an intranet or website that represent the needs of larger groups of users, in terms of their goals and personal characteristics. They act as ‘stand-ins’ for real users and help guide decisions about functionality and design.
Personas identify the user motivations, expectations and goals responsible for driving online behavior, and bring users to life by giving them names, personalities and often a photo.
Although personas are fictitious, they are based on knowledge of real users. Some form of user research is conducted before they are written to ensure they represent end users, rather than the opinion of the person writing the personas.
Analyzing Research Data
Review all the research data and look for patterns in attitudes and behaviors. For example, if you interviewed people about travel, you might find patterns like users who are price driven as opposed to quality driven, users who travel frequently as opposed to infrequently, and users who prefer to research their holiday rather than asking others for suggestions.
For an intranet project, users who need to access information under strict time pressures, users who spend a large amount of their time researching, and users who like to be seen as the experts in the organization.
Whilst listing these patterns, you will begin to see clusters of attitudes and behaviors that make up different personas, such as the frequent traveler that is skilled in researching holidays and finding the best prices. This persona is motivated by keeping the cost of each holiday down so they can travel more in the future. The persona’s goal is to go on as many holidays as possible.
Once you have defined these clusters of attitudes and behaviors, give each persona a brief description, such as ‘independent traveler’ or ‘bargain hunter’. There is no ideal number of personas, however try to keep the set small. Four or five personas work as effective design tools, whilst over ten personas may introduce the same confusion as a large user requirements document.
Start writing the personas by adding details around the behavioral traits. Select details from your research, such as working environment, frustrations, relationships with others, skill level, and some demographics. Give each persona a name and a photo, unless your organizational or team culture is better suited to the more generic personas.
Here are some tips to follow regardless of whether you write your personas as narrative or bullet points:
- Keep your personas to one page, so they remain effective communication tools and can be referred to quickly during design
- Add personal details but don’t go
- Include goals for each
- Identify the primary and secondary personas (explained in the class) to help direct design priorities
Once your personas are written, review them to ensure they have remained realistic and
based on your research data. Check that you have a manageable number of personas, and if two personas seem close in behaviors and goals, see if you can merge them into one persona. Finally, to ensure you have a polished product, ask someone to review the personas for accuracy in spelling and grammar.
You are creating a website that deals with properties. People should be able to buy and sell properties with the help of your website. Your website should ideally include information that can help people make the decision. Create Persona for a user who has to buy a house but has no previous experience buying or selling properties.
Name: Fatima Ali Age: 38
Marital Status: Married
Fatima Ali has always dreamed about owning a house. Recently with the promotion of her husband Ali Javaid her dream can finally be turned into a reality. The main problem for her now is she has no idea where to start. She is not sure what kind of factors would go into the price. She knows what kind of house she is looking for but knows nothing about the property marker. Ali is too busy with his job to think about these things and has left it all to his wife.
She would like a website which gives her all the information that she needs in one place without drowning her in information. She is quite comfortable with online shopping but this is a big decision and she wants to make the right choice.
It is very important for her to know about what kind of areas or neighborhoods are undesirable. Another factor that is important is that she wants to live in a quite area with good schools and parks for her 3 year old twin girls.
You have been asked to develop a health management system for a hospital. The current system that they have is manual. A significant portion of the time of the nurses is wasted doing paper work. The hospital would like you to develop a system that would reduce the time doing different paper work. Anything that can be automated should be automated. Write a Persona for a nurse who is currently busy in paper work and would greatly benefit from such a system.
Name : Rhonda
Marital Status: Married with two children Location: Rawalpindi
Rhonda is a 36-year-old registered nurse who has worked at several skilled nursing facilities. She started out in acute care but moved to long-term care so she could have more autonomy. Rhonda was promoted to Unit Coordinator four years ago because she is very competent and generally well organized.
Rhonda is entirely overwhelmed and is drowning in paper, even more so than the average nurse. She often misses eating dinner with
her family because she has to work late, filling out forms and reports. Rhonda‘s goals are to: Spend time on patient care and staff supervision, not paperwork. Be proactive. Rhonda needs to understand trends in order to solve problems before they happen, instead of just reacting to crises. Know that things are being done right. Rhonda supervises the unit because she’s good at what she does. If nurses aren’t following procedure or documenting things, she wants to know right away.
In the light of the security situation of Pakistan, CIIT has decided to increase the security level. They have observed that simply putting guards on every gate is not increasing the security as students and faculty argue with the guards and enter the university without showing their university cards.
To overcome this situation the higher authorities have decided to have a fully automated entry system. At every entry point at CIIT, the gates would be locked and would only be opened by some sort of security mechanism such as finger print recognition or card swiping etc.
Keeping in mind the above scenario write a persona for a student.
Name: Atif Shakeel Age: 19
Atif is a full-time student at CIIT. He lives in a hostel across the road from the university. He likes to go out with his friends and sleep late.
He is usually running late for classes so an entry system would be annoying for him if it takes too much time. He is not very organized and loses things easily.
He understands the need for security but keeping his student card with him at all times is difficult as he often forgets to bring it. A system which is quick to use and does not require him to memorize any information or keep a card with him would be useful for him.
Home Activities Activity 1
Create at least three Personas for the project that you have chosen for this course. You might initially create more than three Personas and then merge the similar ones. Make sure you identify the type of Personas as well.
You need to submit a report containing the following items:
- Properly formatted three personas of your selected project