Week 5: Persona.

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In the area of User-Centered Design, persona is the model of target user group’s true characteristic and the comprehensive prototype. This concept came from Alan Cooper in the early 80s. In 1999, Alan Cooper published his tremendously successful The Inmates are Running the Asylum (Cooper, 1999) where the persona as a concept to describe fictitious users was introduced for the first time. Persona generalizes the user research which include user’s emotion, thought, behaviour and goal. On this basis, lifelike portraits are going to be formed.

It could have different forms but always combined with some common elements like name, background, quotes, goals of users. There is a list of typical attributes of persona from The UX Review (2013).

  • A person’s goals on your website / service / product
  • A person’s motivations for using it
  • A person’s current pain points or frustrations
  • Some demographic data such as age/location/sex
  • A quote that captures their attitude in general, or towards the website / service / product
  • A short bio about their background
  • A person’s technical ability along with which devices they use and how often
  • Other brands or websites they may like
  • A picture that captures that particular persona.

An example persona may include sections such as personality, demographic, needs, background, motivations, scenarios and features. The main perceived benefits to personas are increasing the focus of the designer and it’s an effective communication tool.

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References:

The UX Review,2013. Personas-The Beginners Guide.http://theuxreview.co.uk/personas-the-beginners-guide/

Interaction Design Foundation. 2012. Personas – Lene Nielsen.https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/personas

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