PPL — 2021 — Persona — When designer become the user

Photo by Aleks Dorohovich on Unsplash

Have you ever design a product or design? When creating a design, we got carried away about what we need and how we visualise rather than how our user sees it. Thus, many designs seem good on paper, but when the user uses the product's design, it lost its usability to the point that it will need a significant revision for the user to utilise it.

Personas are fictional characters that you created based upon your research to represent the different user types that might use your service, sites, or product. (The Interaction Design Foundation, 2020)

According to Interaction Design Foundation, there are four kinds of persona, and those are:

  • Goal-directed Personas: This type of persona will examine what your user wants to achieve when using your design.
  • Role-based Personas: Role-based personas are goal-directed personas that are heavily data-driven.
  • Engaging Personas: The engaging personas can be built upon goal-directed personas, role-based personas, and more traditional rounded personas. The main difference from the other personas is that engaging personas usually have a 3D concept that designers can play with.
  • Fictional Personas: Fictional personas don’t come from user research like any other three personas. Instead, it comes from a designer perspective.

According to Interaction Design Foundation, there are ten steps to building excellent and engaging personas:

  • Collect Data: Do your research on various type of user that might use your system.
  • Form a Hypothesis: Based upon your research, make a hypothesis about how different one user to another.
  • Accept or Reject the Hypothesis: Just like academic research, in this step, you can reject or accept your hypothesis to eliminate an unlikely user and strengthen your design for a user with a higher chance to use your design.
  • Estimate your number of personas.
  • Describe the personas: Make your persona as authentic as possible. Give the persona a name, education, background story, and a brief description.
  • Prepare situations or scenario for your persona: To create more engaging personas, try to imagine what your user might face, like their pain, their needs, and their goals.
  • Ask for your team member to review your persona and accept it. Asking for a second opinion might be a good idea for your personas. More people who contributed to the personas will make the personas have multiple points of view.
  • Make an ongoing adjustment. Nothing is perfect, including your persona. It is okay to make some adjustment to your persona in the future to reflect your user better.

Nothing is perfect, including your persona

Now that we know what persona is and how to build a good and engaging persona, we will delve deeper into how important persona in designing your product:

  • Gain a better perspective similar to the user. Think of your design as your favourite child. You will always perceive your design as good and perfect. When we try to design from a different perspective, we will start to see the
  • Identify with the user we are designing for.
  • Increase usability score of a product even before doing any Usability Testing.
  • Increase the collaboration between the designer team to understand clearly what is their goal when designing the product.

Now that we know that is user persona, how to create one and the personas' advantage. We will look at an example of persona and how that persona and help us in PPL to design the interface.

Pak Slamet as the Persona

Because our project will build a marketplace between farmer and consumer, during our research, we have concluded that Pak Slamet will access our website regularly to sell his product, see if any buyer wants to buy something, or do something more.

As you can see in Pak Slamet’s Persona, the persona has a name, background story, and a scenario (Goals and Frustrations). We can build a design that can solve Pak Slamet frustration and design our website more user-friendly because of Pak Slamet’s age.

Below I’ll attach other personas clearer idea about how to make engaging personas:

In this case, our program is a financial app to invest and control your spending daily. By designing Kevin's personas, we can have a deeper understanding of how the user might use our program and cater to our design more specifically for our user.

We have reached the end of this article. I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say here and can make a user persona to make your design better than ever. Cheers!

Under-graduated Students Majoring in Computer Science

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