Using Personas to Create User-centered Designs

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Presented by Allison Bloodworth & Rachel Hollowgrass at the Spring 2008 JA-SIG uCamp on April 30, 2008

Presented by Allison Bloodworth & Rachel Hollowgrass at the Spring 2008 JA-SIG uCamp on April 30, 2008

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  • 1. Using Personas to Create User-centered Designs Allison Bloodworth, Senior User Interaction Designer, Educational Technology Services, University of California - Berkeley Rachel Hollowgrass, Kuali Student UX Lead, University of California - Berkeley May 7, 2008
  • 2. Agenda • • • • • What is user-centered design? What are personas? Gathering data about users Creating personas Using personas in the design & development process
  • 3. What is user-centered design? • User-centered design is a product development methodology based on actual user needs, abilities and perceptions. • User-centered design is used by UC Berkeley because it offers the most effective path to useful and usable products. • Personas put a human face on the amorphous “user” because they are based on actual user needs. They save time by focusing development toward real cases and away from unlikely “edge” cases.
  • 4. What’s in it for me? • • Programmers benefit from personas and user-centered design by not having to write code that is not needed by the target users. Who wants to make something that won't be used? Business analysts benefit from personas and user-centered design because the scope of goals and tasks is well-defined for them. They don't have to imagine or invent.
  • 5. User-centered design at Berkeley • Focuses on understanding: – Who are the users? – What are their goals? • Goals drive a person’s actions • Tasks are things a person does in order to accomplish his goals – What are their pain points? – What are their motivations? • To drive design
  • 6. Why focus on goals vs. tasks/do user research/UCD? • “The way people do things today is often merely the product of the obsolete systems and and organizations they are forced to interact with, and typically bear little resemblance to the way they would like to do things, or they way they would be most effective.” – About Face 3.0 • Just putting existing processes on-line often is not enough to help users achieve their goals
  • 7. User-centered design at Berkeley       User Research Modeling Requirements Definition UI Framework Definition UI Design Development Support ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 8. User-centered design at Berkeley ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 9. User-centered design at Berkeley (cont’d) ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 10. User Research • Ethnography and empathic research – Observation & interviews • Study users in their context • Centered on users goals and activities • Look for patterns ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 11. Modeling • Make sense of research findings – Personas – Use Cases – Activity Diagrams • Gain consensus early on…before any design happens • Shared language & vision ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 12. Requirements Definition • Refined based on: – User needs – Business goals – Customer needs • Scenarios ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 13. UI Framework Definition • High level design – What pages do we have? – What panes need to exist within the pages and how do they work together. – What design elements are included in each page, pane, etc. • Holistic Design • Allows for iterating on the details ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 14. UI design “Design is the conscious and intuitive effort to impose meaningful order” • Interaction design AND visual design – How does it behave? – What does it look like? – How does it make users feel? • Wireframes and/or mock-ups ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 15. Development Support • Constant communication – No throwing it over the wall • Constant iterations as we learn more from development ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 16. What are personas? • Basic definition – “A persona is a user archetype you can use to help guide decisions about product features, navigation, interactions, and even visual design.” - Kim Goodwin, Cooper • User models – Models can consolidate complex information into an (easy to remember) abstraction – Remembering & making sense of all the raw data would be impossible ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 17. Persona: Sarah Windsor, Overwhelmed Faculty Source: Sakai ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 18. What are personas? • Should: – – – – – – be based on user research be based primarily on qualitative research be focused on users’ goals be based on common behavior patterns be specific to your design context or problem come to life, and seem like real people • Should not: – – – – be focused on stereotypes or generalizations be an ‘average’ of observed behavior patterns be based (at least solely) on user roles be based only on information gathered from subject matter experts, as they cannot represent end users ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 19. Why use personas? • • • • Focus Empathy Gaining consensus Avoiding the elastic user ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 20. Why use personas? • Focus – Designing for too many different types of users makes a product too complex to truly satisfy any of them – Pleasing some users often conflicts with pleasing others – Avoid focusing the design on edge cases ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 21. Why use personas? • Empathy – People are wired to be attuned to other people – Helps put yourself in the users’ shoes • Helps avoid self-referential design – Facilitates the use of role playing to: • make design decisions • evaluate designs ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 22. Why use personas? • Gaining consensus – Give the team a shared understanding (early on!) of who they users are and what they need • Without personas, the team may be disagreeing about who the users are, rather than actual design decisions, without even knowing it – Gives the team a tool to reason through design decisions ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 23. Why use personas? • Avoiding the elastic user – If the users haven’t been clearly defined, they may stretch to fit the needs of the product team • “Our students are very tech-savvy, and will certainly be able to figure that out.” • “Students won’t be able to understand this, we need to create a wizard.” ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 24. Types of personas • Design Personas – – – – – User Personas Customer Personas Served Personas Provisional Personas Negative Personas • Other types of Personas – Marketing Personas – Strategy Personas – Organization Personas ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 25. Types of personas • Primary persona – a persona whose needs must be satisfied – Multiple primary personas require separate interfaces • Secondary, tertiary, etc. personas – Personas whose needs should be considered after those of the primary persona(s) – a persona is made secondary because their needs can be mostly met if the design is focused on the primary persona • Use a bullseye model to keep visualize the different personas & their relationship to each other ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 26. Gathering information for personas • • • • • • User observation Contextual inquiries Interviews Focus groups Existing data Existing knowledge ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 27. Personas should contain information on… • Goals • Attitudes (related to your context) • Behaviors & Tasks (in your context) • • • • • • Photo Name Tagline Demographic info Skill level Environment • Scenarios ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 28. Persona: Matthew Johnson, USDA Senior Manager Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS). ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 29. How are personas created? • • • • • • • Persona hypothesis User research Identify behavioral variables/attributes Persona scales Choose personas Write personas Communicate personas ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 30. Persona hypothesis • A starting point to help determine what types of users to research – Differentiate users based on needs and behaviors – More user types can be added later if research points to other types • Should be based on hypothesized behavior patterns • Should be based on information gathered from stakeholders, SME’s and review of existing literature • Should not be based purely on demographics • Often map to roles in a non-consumer domain (e.g. education) ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 31. User research • • • • • Interview & observe users in the context of their work Use focus structure document to guide each user visit Take detailed notes & photos Process ‘raw’ notes into a more categorized & synthesized format Create summaries ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 32. Persona: Michael the Moderately Seasoned Professional Source: Todd Warfel "Data Driven Personas" ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 33. Identify variables • Personas should be based on observed behavior patterns • Identify the behavioral variables which differentiated your interviewees • Two by two comparison - UIE.com method – Read two randomly chosen summaries – List attributes that make interviewees similar & different – Replace one of the summaries with another randomly chosen one – Repeat until all summaries are read • Choose endpoints of scales ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 34. Persona scales ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 35. Choose personas • Determine list of potential personas based on common behavioral patterns • Sanity check – Do they make sense? Do they reflect what we’ve seen? Are there too many to be useful? Will they help us make design decisions? • Finalize initial persona list ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 36. Write personas • Draft persona characteristics & goals for each persona – Should come from actual user research - go back to your notes – These attributes should be relevant to your design context • Check persona set – Anything missing? – Any redundant personas? • Write the persona descriptions – Some bulleted lists, some narrative – You may have multiple formats depending on your team’s needs – A few personal details OK • Try to relate them to your design • Add them last • Choose primary, secondary, etc. persona(s)
  • 37. Communicate personas • Introductory workshop • Posting one or two page summaries in work areas • Laminated sheet containing short summaries of all personas • Persona deck of cards • Have everyone put a persona on their door to represent who they identify with • Set up a work area for a persona ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 38. Scenarios • A design technique used to envision future use of a system – Focusing on how users can achieve their goals – Helps designers & developers understand how system will really be used • A story about a particular persona interacting with the system • May be based on a use case, or a set of use cases • Can use them for usability testing • Scenarios become progressively more detailed ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 39. Types of Scenarios • Context Scenarios – High-level, no interaction details – Focus is on how the user can achieve her goals – Part of Requirements Definition phase • Key path scenarios – Incorporate functional and data needs into the scenarios – Part of the UI Framework Definition phase ❁ User Research ❁ Modeling ❁ Requirements Definition ❁ UI Framework Definition ❁ UI Design ❁ Development Support
  • 40. Persona Resources • • • Books – About Face 3.0 – The Persona Lifecycle – Practical Personas: The User Is Always Right Presentations – UIE's Building Robust Personas in 30 Days or Less: http://www.uie.com/events/virtual_seminars/building_personas/ – "data driven design research personas:" http://www.slideshare.net/toddwarfel/data-driven-design-researchpersonas – "The user is always right: Making Personas Work for Your Site:" http://www.slideshare.net/MulderMedia/the-user-is-always-right-makingpersonas-work-for-your-site Articles – Building a data-backed persona: http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/building-a-data – Personas vs. User Descriptions: http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2007/11/15/personas-vs-userdescriptions-apples-vs-tomatoes/
  • 41. Questions? • Contact info: – Allison Bloodworth, abloodworth@berkeley.edu – Rachel Hollowgrass, rachel@media.berkeley.edu