Reading 1: Personas-A Simple Introduction
In this reading, the author is mainly trying three question: What is Personas? How Personas relates to Design Thinking? How to create your Engaging Personas and Scenarios? Personas are fictional characters, which designers create based upon their research in order to represent the different user types that might use their service, product, site, or brand in a similar way. Creating personas can not only help designers figure out their user’s needs and expectations, but also help them recognize that different people have different needs so they can identify which part of their project should be fixed.
In the Design Thinking process, Personas are created during the second phase, the Define phase. Designers synthesis their research and findings from the Empathise phase. Personas can help designers move on to the third phase, the Ideation phase. There are four kinds of personas: Goal-directed Personas, which focus on figuring out what typical users want to use their products. Role-Based Personas, which focus on behavior. Engaging Personas, which incorporate both goal and role-directed personas. Fictional Personas, which unlike other personas, will not emerge from user research.
There are 10 steps to creating Engaging Personas and Scenarios: We need to collect data at first, then we can form some hypothesis. Then, everyone in group should make a discussion and find the best hypothesis. Then, we need to decide the final number of personas. Describing the personas is the most important step, then we can prepare situations or scenarios for our personas. At the same time, we also need to obtain acceptance from the organization and disseminate knowledge. In the end, everyone in the group prepares scenarios and makes ongoing adjustments.
Reading 2: A Closer Look at Personas (Part 1)
In this reading, the author Shlomo, who is an Interaction Designer, mainly introduces his understanding about Personas, and why Personas are necessary and important for Interaction Design. He also presents some his own design projects as examples to explain how he creates personas and how personas help his design projects.
Shlomo thinks a persona is a way to model, summarize and communicate research about people who have been observed or researched in some way. The Personas were informally developed by Alan Cooper as a way to empathize with and internalize the mindset of people who would eventually use the software he was designing, and then were generally used in most of design projects.
Shlomo then describes how he create personas: he will interview and observe an adequate number of people, find patterns in the interviewees’ responses and actions, and use those to group similar people together. Then, he will create archetypical models of those groups, and draw from that understanding of users and the model of that understanding to create user-centered designs. In the end, he will share his works to people in his team and then to make some changes.
Reading 3: A Closer Look at Personas (Part 2)
In this reading, similar to what Shlomo has said in Part 1, he introduces some more advantages of using Personas and presents more details about how to create personas by using his own experiences.
He presents more details about how to identify users and prepare for questions. He suggests us to create a screener based on demographics and psychographics to determine who to observe and talk to and who not to. As for questions, he thinks we should ask the most advantageous questions and observe the most relevant behavior. To determine what information is most needed, they to think of the knowledge gaps. He then gives us all necessary questions which should be asked, including Overview, Domain Knowledge, Goals, Attitudes and Motivations, Processes, Environment, Pain Points, Tools and Technology, Mental Models, Relationships and Organizational Structure, Projecting into the future, Wrapping up.
After the interview, what is more important is to analyze the data. The analysis stage is the most complicated because we must compare multiple variables of behaviors and attitudes. We need to make sense of it all by finding patterns in the data.
Reading 4: Better User Experience with Storytelling (Part 1)
In this reading, Francisco, an interaction designer at Universal Mind, introduces how user experience professionals and designers are using storytelling to create compelling experiences that build human connections.
One interesting part which draw my attention is the Power of Emotion mentioned by Francisco. A good storytelling can always arouse audiences emotion to make audiences feel like they are the characters in the story. In this section, Francisco introduces the Emotional Design, presented by Donald Norman. Norman found that design affects how people experience products , which happens at three different levels, and translates into three type of design: Visceral Design, which is from a subconscious and biologically pre-wired programmed level of thinking. Behavioral Design, which is how the product functions, the look and feel, the usability, and total experience with using the product. Reflective Design, which is how it makes us feel after the initial impact and interacting with the product.
Those three types of designs make me understand how a horror movie is designed. The ghost, environment and the music of a horror movies is the Visceral Design which makes us fear and feel creepy. The Reflective Design is that we trust the horror movie is not real so we can seek the sense of exciting.
Reading 5: Better User Experience with Storytelling (Part 2)
In Part 2, Francisco explored some of the basic structures and story patterns found in myths and religions. He also explored some of the basics of bringing storytelling into the user experience process and some places to get started. He mainly presents some interviews with Modern-Day Storytellers.
I am really interested in the interview with Dorelle. For the question “how do you approach storytelling in UX”, Dorelle sees the storytelling as another tool we can use as a catalyst for communications during out design activities. He believes that “it’s about putting a human face on the design process and bringing people together.”
I strongly agree his idea. When I consider the storytelling, it is not only create a story which everyone can enjoy in, but also build a platform of communications. It could be a communication between the storyteller and the characters in story, which decides the basic structure of story. It could also be a communication between the designer and users, which has the similar function with personas.