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User Personas

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Melissa BB

on 7 January 2014

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Transcript of User Personas

User Personas
What are User Personas?
Are fictional characters created to represent the different user types that might use/engage with a site, brand, content or product in a similar way.

Why Are User Personas used?
Best Practices for Creating User Personas
Collect the Data
Identify and Categorize User Groups
Develop User Personas
1. Name each group, both with a fictional name and a descriptor. Ex. "Matt The Techie"
Validate User Personas
2. Test personas against a mock/test version of the site to validate. Make necessary adjustments.
How to Create User Personas
1. Speak to Sharon to find user and demographic data that already exists for your segment(s).
Why are User Personas Important for TVO?
Elements of a Persona
Puts a personal human face on otherwise abstract data about customers.
Forces you to think about your users and provokes discussion about them.

Allows you to be better able to infer what a real person might need or want.
Helps the team have a shared understanding of the real users in terms of their goals, capabilities and contexts.
Gives teams a better understanding of their users
Helps Define Design and User Requirements
Saves Time and Costs of Research and Testing
Informs Strategy
Helps identify opportunities and product gaps to drive strategy.
Serves as a reference tool that can be used for multiple purposes, from strategy through to implementation.
Provides a quick and cheap way to test, validate and prioritize ideas throughout development.
Significantly reduces time and cost needed to obtain user requirements.
Helps prioritize design elements and resolve design disagreements in an economical way

Helps designers empathize with users to understand behaviors, motivations and expectations

Informs wireframes, interface behaviors, and labeling

Captures important user requirements
TVO's knowledge and understanding of our target demographic is very broad:
Ex. Adults aged 65+

Creating user personas will give us a way to articulate who are users are and what motivates them, beyond top-level demographic information.

Fictional Name
A quote that sums up what matters most to the persona as it relates to your site, product or content
Fictional but realistic image representing persona
Their physical, social and technological environment described through a narrative
The goals and tasks they are trying to complete using the site, product or content
2. Determine what information/data is missing.
3. Develop a plan for how to gather missing information, either through interviews, observation, putting yourself in the user's shoes, etc.
2. Create various possible scenarios and background stories for the character
3. Write the user persona narrative, thinking about these questions:
1. Do a first-run validation of personas with team members to ensure they make sense
1. Review data and research, create an initial spectrum of potential users
Focus on a few core primary users. All users should fit into no more than 5 groups.
Make your personas believable and realistic. The characters should have relatable jobs, i.e. Not "Astronaut".
Make your personas challenging. Don't fall prey to overly used stereotypes of groups.

User Personas...
Represent the needs, desires, skills, behaviours, attitudes and environment of one or more group of real users.

Identify the person's motivations, expectations, aspirations and behaviours.
Are based on facts, ethnographic research, surveys, interviews and intuitive understanding about the audience.
Overall, a User Persona aims to answer:
1. As a
<type of person, eg: Teacher>
2. I want to
<use your product in a particular way, eg: find info quickly>
3. So that I can
<do something specific, eg: write a lesson plan>
Things to Think About and Questions to ask:
There should be meaningful differences between the personas, particularly in terms of the operative component/function that would be useful to them on the site/product/content
Consumption Behaviours
How do our users consume the content and why?
How much time are they likely to spend engaging with the content/site?
What parts of the day are they likely to consume the content?
What is the main thing that will drives the user to want to visit the site?
What does the user want to talk and learn about?
What kinds of platforms are the users comfortable using?
Is the user concentrating on only one thing at a time?
Does the user have frequent interruptions during their experience?
2. Where time and money permit, conduct real user interviews with internal employees who might fit into the various user groups.
Other things to consider...
User personas can be aspirational. They represent who you would like your primary user to be in the future; product/content features are then chosen to meet the specifications of the user persona.
In the absence of (or limited access to) quantitative data, it is okay to infer or create details (within reason) which can then be validated through testing
When thinking about users of The Agenda...

What platforms do they use?
What kinds of devices do they use? (Desktop, smartphone, tablets)
What topics do they want to talk about?
How long they have to talk about those topics?
When do they want to talk about them?
Other Elements to consider
Technological expertise level:
Personality and behavioural archetype
*See personality and behavioural archetype taxonomy
User experience goals
Ex. Fun, satisfying, educational
Full transcript