A user group that uses a system (web, mobile, or holographic app) is represented by persona. The representation must be reliable and realistic enough to the real-life situation as this persona shows us the majority of our users is. In a small scale project, persona development is often skipped due to limited budget and time. But to unsure the user experience of the system, it is recommended to at least have a couple of persona before starting to develop the system.
Why is Persona Development so Important?
There’s a risk that the developed system won’t be user-friendly and doesn’t meet user’s expectation as persona is created to represent the majority of users who will use the system.
Persona helps us stay on the line during the development stage and only develop system which the users really need and can use.
How Many Personas Do We Need?
According to Usability.gov it is enough to have three to four personas. Developers don’t have to represent all users who will use the system. Just like the phrase ‘you can’t please everyone’, thinking about the majority is already enough.
How is Persona Developed?
In a small scale project persona is based on educated guess of all team members who are responsible for the personas development. This guess can also be supported by third-party user research (e.g. user research article in the internet).
A good persona should have the following properties:
- Job title
- Family Member
- Expectation for The System
- Computer Literacy
What Makes Persona Good?
After developing some personas, teams must check whether the developed persona good enough or an improvement is needed. These following points can be used to measure the created personas:
- Are the personas realistic enough?
- Do the created personas already represent the majority of the users?
- Do the personas help the team to develop a user-centered system?
A small software company will create a system for a junior high school. The system will help students get the latest information regarding school activities such as school schedule, daily news, canceled events, substitute teacher, public transportation departure and arrival time, etc. Behind the system an administrator from the secretary’s office will do the system management such as entering the news, changing the school schedule, updating the public transportation API, etc.
We as a developer can create at least the recommended amount of personas: 3 – 4. In this case we will create 3: two students and one admin from the secretary’s office.
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And now it’s your turn to create the other two personas. If you have any other question, leave a comment or two below.