Week 5 Lecture Notes

When developing an interactive for a particular audience, a designer must first obtain a prerequisite insight into this group in order to accurately cater the design. From concept to distribution, each stage of the development process needs to be guided by an intention to deliver upon specific needs and requirements. Where this goal can sometimes be clouded by one’s own desires or the desires of those in a development team, a persona acts as a means to reaffirm and clarify direction.

User Persona

The User Persona is intended to fictionally represent a group or individual that will be the recipients of an interactive. Derived from interviews and research, the persona distils facets of the clientele, like attitudes, behaviour patterns and aims, and produces a character to be used as a constant reference that encapsulates these traits. This in turn helps guide the design process by providing a clear definition of the aims and context for the design to meet going forward.

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An example of a user persona.

Audiences big and small

Due to the vast number of variables found within any group of people, a designer needs to distinguish between their core and fringe audiences and create personas accordingly to help in facilitating their primary user-base . The development of an interactive should be done with the aim of first delivering to those outlined by the core persona, with secondary consideration being given to those that fall outside of this group.

A developer requires an understanding of how their interactive will be utilised and the paths that might be taken to retrieve desired information. The varying nature of any audience often means that a developer must accommodate multiple different approaches to this process and provide a means to easily reach their goal while also including the tools necessary for a more intricate approach.

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The eBay website needs to accomodate millions of users with different intentions

Artefact Persona

Alternatively, a designer can create a persona based upon the product being made itself. Similar to the User Persona in intention, the Artefact Persona provides a means of personifying the desired visual identity and traits intended to embody the interactive. This theoretical personality assists in keeping a project on track, and can be used as a means of subverting any subjective injection by reaffirming the objective. In order to transform a product into a personality, a developer must imagine their design as a person and question what their personality would be like and how they would be perceived by the environment around them.

Final thoughts

In a multi-faceted process that has the potential to be orchestrated by numerous people, it can become difficult to maintain a consistently clear sense of who your audience is and what details need to be included. By generating a persona, either of the audience or the product itself, you provide a means to reaffirm the team’s goals in the form of a theoretical, almost mascot-like personality. Through this, a design is able to be moulded more accurately around a specific archetype, in turn providing a much more personal and catered experience for the end-user.

References

Rawpixel.com. (2015). Adult casual collection fashion [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-casual-collection-fashion-296881/
Rodriguez, R. (2013). Ebay.es [Screenshot]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/rahulrodriguez/9163189442
Rosenfeld Media. (2013). UXT086: Figure 6 [Screenshot]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/9203796918
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