Reading One: Personas-A Simple Introduction
In this reading, the topic of personas and the relation to design interaction is addressed in detail. In the opening portion of this reading, the author explained how creating personas is crucial to creating an effective design because it allows the designer to put his/her self into the mindset of the user, and understand his/her design from a whole different perspective.
The author then goes on to address the four perspectives of personas: goal directed personas, role based personas, engaging personas and fictional personas. Each persona is explained to tackle the design and its flaws from a different but crucial angel. For example, the goal directed persona is exactly as it sounds, its to the point, it is all about identifying an objective and executing it in the best way possible. In comparison, fictional personas focus more on the user and user needs then the design itself. These four perspectives helped me get a better grasp on how to tackle the design process.
Moreover, the author also delves into how to create “engaging personas and scenarios” and goes into depth about what is needed in order to create them and effectively use them to benefit your design. I believe this article in particular will be beneficial in our own iterative design creations, as we create and utilize personas in order to better our own designs. I found this article to be exceptionally entertaining and informative.
Reading Two: A Closer Look at Personas (Part 1)
In this reading, the author opens with an excerpt about how he always found personas to be useless or an unnecessary additional step in the design process, until he was able to see one used meaningfully and effectively. In the authors’ experience with personas, he notes how creating them allowed him as the designer, to step away from the idea of the masses and get into the smaller scale mind of an individual. This process allows the designer to get a clearer idea of who may be actually using their product as opposed to creating something for the generic consumption of the masses.
The author goes on to explain how personas are created. One may assume, that the designer just imagines this random person using their product and the process is complete, however, that is not the case. In order to create a persona the designer must engage in the following steps: “Interview and/or observe an adequate number of people. Find patterns in the interviewees’ responses and actions, and use those to group similar people together. Create archetypical models of those groups, based on the patterns found. Drawing from that understanding of users and the model of that understanding, create user-centered designs.”
Furthermore, I think the author explained the use of personas best in his closing remark. He writes, “Personas help to keep a designer honest and to become mindful of when they are truly designing for others and when they are just designing for themselves. If you are going to design for someone unlike yourself, then do your users a solid and use a persona.” In other words, personas may not be for everyone, a select few may have a rounded view of the users than others, but for most, personas may prove to be an effective tool in creating and improving a design.
Reading Three: A Closer Look at Personas (Part 2)
This reading, similar to the ones before it, also delves into the use and benefits of the creation of personas. The author asks the critical question, “how do designers create experiences that are custom tailored to people unlike themselves?” in the opening portion of the reading. Before reading the rest of the article, my initial thought was, well they don’t. What I mean by this is, the designer doesn’t create things for people entirely different from themselves. I believe throughout the design process the designer is involved, and invested in the creation, not for some altruistic purpose, but because somehow the design benefits, or relates to them. I don’t think inventions and revolutionary inventions come up out of the blue, but rather they are manifested within someone because somehow, the design corresponds in someway to their personal lives.
After reading into the middle of the article, the author goes on to explain how getting deep into the minds of potential consumers is helpful. By expanding the design thinking to more than just how it effects the designer, the product is also able to expand and achieve new heights, when its not constrained by one individuals’ ideas and expectations of it.
Upon completion of this article, I learned several interesting aspects to the process of creating a persona and why its necessary. However, I still feel my initial thought is valid, and that the relationship between design and designer is deeply connected. However, with the use and implementation of persona creation, the designer is able to branch out and enable his/her design to grow.
Reading Four: Better User Experience with Storytelling (Part 1)
In this reading the author discusses how storytelling directly relates to user experience. In the opening paragraph, the author takes time to illuminate how technology has negatively impacted the “emotional connection” and humanly “personal touch.” This idea really resonated with me, because I am attempting to bridge the missing “emotional connection” of long distance friendships with technology, and this idea got me thinking, is it even really possible to make something which is able to truly mimic personal connection and presence?
Another part of this reading, which sparked my interest was the power of emotion section. In this section the author highlights how we as humans are biologically wired to like and dislike certain things. The use of emotion as an element of design is something I’ve never really considered before. For me, I understand emotion to be a critical component in something like a book, or a story but I hadn’t thought to make a user interaction, anything more than a user interaction, by incorporating emotion the designer is able to facilitate something more meaningful than just that,
This article left me with a few questions. It made me wonder, can technology truly be an effective medium for bridging an emotional/personal gap? How can emotion be incorporated into a design, to make it a deeper more meaningful experience? How will I incorporate storytelling into my design in order to further push my design?
Reading Five: Better User Experience with Storytelling (Part 2)
In this reading, (the second part of Better User Experience with Storytelling) a few modern storytellers were highlighted. This article got me thinking about how stories and storytelling is already incorporated in modern technology. On Instagram, or Snapchat there are “story” features, which users are able to post snippets of videos or photos, and most times, they’re utilized to tell a story over time. For example, on someone’s birthday the user may start with a photo of breakfast and coffee in bed, and as the day progresses so do the documentations of the day.
Prior to reading this article I hadn’t really thought about this feature as “storytelling” in the traditional sense, but now I’m starting to look at these designs from a design perspective rather than a user. By viewing modern designs from a dual perspective (user and designer) I think it allows me to get a better view and idea of what I want out of my design, from both the designer AND user perspective.
Moreover, I feel like all of these readings added to my current knowledge of the design process. By applying bits and pieces from this article and the ones before it I feel like I’ll have a better idea on how to tackle current and future design problems.