PPL — 2021 — Persona — When designer become the user

Introduction to Persona

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)

Types of Persona

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.

How to create Persona

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. The research can be from various source. But, conducting interviews with some user(the more likelihood of the interviewee will be your target user the better). Another way to collect the data is to ask for experts opinion. Expert here could be UX Researcher that has research the same persona, and so on.
  • 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

The importance of 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.

Components of Persona

Persona has multiple components, but usually, these components will make your persona more reliable and effective:

  1. Technology Comfort Level: How comfortable your user with technology. For example, you could make a design for elderly people who usually quite had a hard time with technology or young people who usually more tech-savvy.
  2. Motivation: Explain why the user wants to reach their goals. For example in my application the user (a buyer) having a hard time when they want to find a fresh vegetable or fruit.
  3. Attitudes: Relevant user characteristics and explain their behaviour.

Frustration in Making Persona

Making a good persona sometimes can take a few of your times and can cost a lot of money. Here is the reason why sometimes making a persona is not as easy as it looks.

  1. Difficult to interview a relevant user.
  2. DIfficult to maintain a good relationship with relevant user.
  3. Difficult to decipher how much kind of persona is enough. There is no formula for the good amount of persona and that’s why it’s hard to make sure that your persona right now is enough.

Example of User Persona

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.

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. For the implementation the persona in our design can be seen below:

Also, because Pak Slamet wants to save his budget on some agriculture tools. We also design a marketplace where Pak Slamet can buy agriculture equipment that suits him right from the operator

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!



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