Blog Post #1 – Feb. 2, 2015

What can you / should you have in a persona, and how can one conduct research to find all of the answers?

When beginning the design process, it is important to look at the person that you are working with/for. While doing research, the designer must focus on the simple things first, such as their age and their social and demographic characteristics. Once the designer has these small bits of information out, they can create a short bio to be added to the persona. (http://theuxreview.co.uk/personas-the-beginners-guide/). It is also important to look at what this person is in need of, what they desire, and the final goals of the project that will be taken on. The designer should also take time to find out what their client uses the most; their phone, a tablet, or a computer, whether it be a laptop or a desktop. (http://www.ux-lady.com/diy-user-personas/). When this is decided, the designer can look a little further into the users technical ability of using that device and the app that they are using within the device. (http://theuxreview.co.uk/personas-the-beginners-guide/). If the designer is looking to redesign a certain web page or app for this client, they also need to take note of what works for this person, or what they like most, and then the designer must also note what their client doesn’t necessarily enjoy about it and what can be frustrating to them at times. (http://www.ux-lady.com/diy-user-personas/).

When we begin the process of looking at the users education background, along with their skills, and their personality, its important, or a good idea to conduct a Myer Briggs test, or a test similar, so that it is possible to collect data about the persons true self and their greatest strengths and weaknesses. Aside from the conducting a Myer Briggs test, there are other websites to take personality tests that resemble the same form and results. If the user that we are working with is willing to take just a few short minutes out of their day to participate in a short personality test, the designer will be able to learn a lot about them. An example of a short test with elaborate results can be found at https://www.16personalities.com, or the designer can simply search the internet for any other tests that they or their client may be interested in. It may also be important to use those results to create a small chart to the users persona, and follow that with adding a picture. (http://theuxreview.co.uk/personas-the-beginners-guide/). The designer must understand though that there is no right or wrong way to making a persona, as long as the important information is there to allow for the best outcome possible with the work that will be following. (http://boxesandarrows.com/files/banda/long-live-the-user/Mulder_TheUserIsAlwaysRight_Ch3.pdf).

When the designer is looking at their users there are two main ways that they can go about researching them. There is a qualitative side to research, as well and a quantitive form. Qualitative is when the designer has taken time to talk personally with their user to find out a little bit about them and what they will be working with. When researching based on quantitative research, it is looking at a larger group of people, but with similar traits in common, such as age, the forms of technology that they may be using or what is popular. As previously stated, it is also important to be looking at the users wants and needs versus their dislikes and troubles. This also includes their goals and what they aspire to get out of what the designer will potentially be working on. And looking a little further past just a personality test, it is important to take time to study the users behavior and their attitude towards different aspects of life. (http://boxesandarrows.com/files/banda/long-live-the-user/Mulder_TheUserIsAlwaysRight_Ch3.pdf). The designer should also not be afraid to Google search their user, or use social media to learn a little more about their user and what they truly like and dislike, along with what some of their trends may be. It is important to gather as much information as possible so that the designer is able to create something that the user will truly like and be able to access easily. (http://knowledge.hubspot.com/contacts-user-guide/how-to-create-personas).

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