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Personas & Web Development Kathy E. Gill. Personas Credited to Alan Cooper A user archetype used to help guide decisions about product features, navigation,

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Presentation on theme: "Personas & Web Development Kathy E. Gill. Personas Credited to Alan Cooper A user archetype used to help guide decisions about product features, navigation,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Personas & Web Development Kathy E. Gill

2 Personas Credited to Alan Cooper A user archetype used to help guide decisions about product features, navigation, and visual design

3 Who are the important users? Always more than one group of users (if only beginner, intermediate, advanced) What technologies do they use? Essential to understand information needs of audience (and their vocabulary!) How else can you organize content so that they can find what they are looking for?

4 Know your site visitors ID audience segments, prioritize Use log files Consider privacy issues Personalization Cookies Create personas based on research (ideal) or ad hoc (Norman)

5 Ideal Persona Development Synthesized from a interviews with real people Summarized description includes behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes

6 Persona Descriptions Personas represent behavior patterns, not job descriptions! It’s not a list of tasks, although the narrative that describes the flow will touch on tasks

7 Experience Goals How the persona wants to feel when using a product Having fun and not feeling stupid are experience goals Usually there is one persona to represent those of us with a lot of anxiety about technology From Perfecting Your Personas

8 End Goals What happens when the persona uses the product? Create an award-winning publication Become more efficient with time Reduce accounting errors

9 False Goals Save memory Easy to learn Protect data integrity How do these differ from End or Experience Goals?

10 Personas and Marketing Your marketing and sales targets may not be your design targets Example: In-Flight Entertainment System. Who is the better design target? The business traveler or the retired homemaker? Why?

11 Types of Personas: Olsen Focal (primary) Secondary (satisfy when we can) Unimportant (low-priority) Affected (bystanders, of a sort) Exclusionary (not gonna bother) Stakeholders (people who write checks) From Boxes and ArrowsBoxes and Arrows

12 Types of Personas: Cooper Primary and secondary -- design for primary Cooper’s Premise: what would you get if you tried to design a car that everyone would want to drive? Tip: Focus on three or four goals that are specific to your product or service

13 Quotable “Personas, like all powerful tools, can be grasped in an instant but can take months or years to master.” Alan Cooper, 2003, ers/2003_08/Origin_of_Personas.asp ers/2003_08/Origin_of_Personas.asp

14 Persona – Ellen Ellen has just entered her senior year at Lincoln High School in St. Louis, Missouri. She enjoys speech and English class, hates trigonometry, and is active in the tennis club. Her parents both work full time. …

15 Persona – Robin Robin is a product manager for an enterprise B2B vendor with a direct sales force. She manages all aspects of product management for three products. She is 35 years old with a college degree and some MBA classes. She earns $85,000 a year and is eligible for an $8,000 bonus based on…

16 Personas in Practice (1/3) Help focus attention on a specific audience Help make assumptions about the target audience more specific Help avoid the trap of building what users think they want rather than what they will actually use

17 Personas in Practice (2/3) Help avoid the trap of building what developers think users want Provide a benchmark for measurement (decision-making) Help prioritize ideas, features (decision- making)

18 Personas in Practice (3/3) Personas are a medium for communication: once a set of personas is familiar to a team, a new finding can be easily communicated: “Alan cannot use the web site search tool” has more punch than “our usability testers had trouble with search” From Microsoft, Personas: Practice and Theory

19 How Personas Work (1/2) Power of narrative to engage Help create scenarios that work Breathe life into task analyses

20 How Personas Work (/2) Theory of Mind: 25 years of psychological research on how we can predict another person’s behavior based on understanding their mental state Also from Personas: Practice and Theory

21 In Sum, Needed Details: A real name Age A photo Personal info, including family and home life Work environment (not a job description!) Computer proficiency and comfort with the Web Info-seeking habits Attitudes, including pet peeves Personal and professional goals Motivation: why would this person use your high-tech product? From Alan Cooper, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity, Indianapolis: Sams, 1999.

22 Conclusion Personas are a tool which enables the design team to communicate nuance and emotion, with the goal of creating a product that more closely meets target audience needs

23 Exercise 1 Users of an airline site: parents with two small boys, single woman business traveler, grandma going to visit grand kids Users of IRS site: 18 year old filing first tax return, new small business owner, someone who has just retired User of job-search site 22 year old college grad, new immigrant from Guatamala, 45 year old project manager

24 Exercise 2 Thinking about a county elections website What might be the different types of users What kinds of information might they want to access How should the website communicate those things to the different audiences How would you develop these personas Notes here (one notetaker per team, share names of team) :

25 Credits Kathy E. Gill, @kegill or http://kegill.com Creative Commons: non-commercial, attribution, share-and-share alike

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