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How Does a Persona Fit Into the UX Design Process

Personas are an extremely effective tool for every stage in the user experience and interface design process. Ensuring that your design is user-centered should be one of your main priorities as a UX designer.

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How Does a Persona Fit Into the UX Design Process

  1. 1. How​ ​Does​ ​a​ ​Persona​ ​Fit​ ​Into​ ​the​ ​UX​ ​Design​ ​Process? By​ ​Jenna​ ​Erickson,​ ​​Codal​ ​Inc ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Persona’s​ ​have​ ​been​ ​in​ ​place​ ​for​ ​decades,​ ​and​ ​are​ ​not​ ​only​ ​used​ ​in​ ​the​ ​​user experience​ ​design​​ ​field.​ ​A​ ​persona​ ​is​ ​synthesized​ ​individual​ ​that​ ​represents​ ​a significant​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​people. More​ ​specifically,​ ​a​ ​user​ ​experience​ ​design​ ​agency​ ​would​ ​use​ ​a​ ​persona​ ​in order​ ​to​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​the​ ​target​ ​market​ ​that​ ​they​ ​are​ ​designing​ ​for.​ ​Each​ ​persona in​ ​UX​ ​should​ ​represent​ ​a​ ​user​ ​type​ ​of​ ​the​ ​application​ ​or​ ​web​ ​platform​ ​and should​ ​represent​ ​the​ ​needs​ ​that​ ​a​ ​larger​ ​group​ ​of​ ​people​ ​have.​ ​Below​ ​is​ ​what an​ ​example​ ​of​ ​a​ ​persona​ ​looks​ ​like​ ​(created​ ​by​ ​​Chicago​ ​UX​ ​design​ ​company​, Codal). Most​ ​personas​ ​will​ ​have​ ​an​ ​image,​ ​description​ ​of​ ​who​ ​they​ ​are,​ ​and​ ​most importantly,​ ​their​ ​frustrations,​ ​goals,​ ​values,​ ​and​ ​preferred​ ​solutions.
  2. 2. Personas​ ​are​ ​something​ ​that​ ​is​ ​included​ ​in​ ​most​ ​​UX​ ​design​ ​services​,​ ​and​ ​will be​ ​conducted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​​UX​ ​UI​ ​research​​ ​team. So,​ ​where​ ​does​ ​it​ ​belong​ ​in​ ​the​ ​UX​ ​process? Personas​ ​are​ ​typically​ ​created​ ​in​ ​the​ ​very​ ​beginning​ ​of​ ​the​ ​user​ ​experience design​ ​phase,​ ​but​ ​should​ ​be​ ​referenced​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​process,​ ​even into​ ​the​ ​​mobile​ ​app​ ​design​ ​and​ ​development​​ ​phase. Finding​ ​Focus​ ​on​ ​the​ ​User When​ ​designing​ ​a​ ​website​ ​or​ ​mobile​ ​application,​ ​it​ ​can​ ​be​ ​very​ ​easily​ ​to​ ​get lost​ ​in​ ​the​ ​rut​ ​of​ ​different,​ ​unique​ ​concepts.​ ​You​ ​cannot​ ​design​ ​something​ ​just because​ ​​you​​ ​like​ ​it​ ​as​ ​a​ ​designer.​ ​The​ ​platform​ ​is​ ​likely​ ​not​ ​being​ ​designed​ ​for you.​ ​Personas​ ​will​ ​keep​ ​you​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​the​ ​types​ ​of​ ​people​ ​that​ ​you’re designing​ ​for. For​ ​an​ ​example,​ ​an​ ​older​ ​generation​ ​may​ ​not​ ​understand​ ​how​ ​to​ ​use​ ​the gestures​ ​on​ ​SnapChat,​ ​yet​ ​every​ ​millennial​ ​does.​ ​When​ ​SnapChat​ ​was​ ​being designed,​ ​the​ ​target​ ​persona​ ​was​ ​most​ ​likely​ ​a​ ​millennial​ ​and​ ​not​ ​a​ ​mother​ ​of 5​ ​kids. Design​ ​End​ ​Goals A​ ​persona​ ​is​ ​a​ ​very​ ​goal-driven​ ​tool.​ ​The​ ​purpose​ ​of​ ​it​ ​is​ ​almost​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​that all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​user​ ​goals​ ​have​ ​been​ ​met.​ ​Therefore,​ ​use​ ​your​ ​personas​ ​to​ ​reference check​ ​that​ ​every​ ​goal​ ​that​ ​was​ ​determined​ ​in​ ​the​ ​beginning​ ​of​ ​the​ ​project​ ​has been​ ​met. Functionality It​ ​is​ ​important​ ​for​ ​these​ ​personas​ ​to​ ​stay​ ​present​ ​through​ ​the​ ​​software development​​ ​cycle,​ ​and​ ​that​ ​your​ ​design​ ​transfers​ ​into​ ​the​ ​functionality​ ​that
  3. 3. you​ ​were​ ​hoping​ ​for.​ ​If​ ​it​ ​doesn’t,​ ​what​ ​was​ ​the​ ​point​ ​of​ ​the​ ​​UX​ ​research services​​ ​that​ ​you​ ​utilized? Defend​ ​your​ ​Decisions If​ ​you’re​ ​a​ ​designer,​ ​I’m​ ​sure​ ​you​ ​have​ ​been​ ​asked​ ​“why​ ​does​ ​this​ ​look​ ​like this,​ ​why​ ​is​ ​the​ ​button​ ​here,​ ​why​ ​is​ ​the​ ​navigation​ ​menu​ ​like​ ​this?”​ ​Well, personas​ ​are​ ​a​ ​great​ ​way​ ​to​ ​back​ ​up​ ​the​ ​decisions​ ​that​ ​you​ ​make​ ​as​ ​a​ ​designer. You​ ​designed​ ​it​ ​a​ ​certain​ ​way​ ​because​ ​that​ ​is​ ​how​ ​“persona​ ​X”​ ​would​ ​expect​ ​it to​ ​be. Conclusion Personas​ ​are​ ​an​ ​extremely​ ​effective​ ​tool​ ​for​ ​every​ ​stage​ ​in​ ​the​ ​​user​ ​experience and​ ​interface​ ​design​​ ​process.​ ​Ensuring​ ​that​ ​your​ ​design​ ​is​ ​user-centered should​ ​be​ ​one​ ​of​ ​your​ ​main​ ​priorities​ ​as​ ​a​ ​UX​ ​designer.​ ​Interested​ ​in​ ​learning more​ ​about​ ​​user-centered​ ​design​?​ ​Contact​ ​​Codal​! Chicago​ ​UX​ ​design​ ​&​​ ​​software​ ​development​ ​agency