For clarity's sake, let's summarize the steps to creating a persona discussed in the article:
- Talk to, observe, read about. research the users of a site; talk to people they talk to
- On paper, map their characteristics in a cluster or with post-it notes
- Look for differences, similarities, or connections that emerge among the sets of characteristics
- Set boundaries of what your site will attempt to acommodate by defining the spectrum of each characteristic (e.g., if "the young" is a characteristic, how young will you explicitly design for?)
- Group the characteristics into two or three primary "types." These will become your personas that characterize your users.
- Choose one of the types (sets of characteristics)
- Invent a name and find a picture to represent and personalize that type (see the example, "Peter: the Busy Parent" in the UX web article "Getting the most out of personas"
- Write a description comprising a listing of characteristics and attitudes, and try including ficticious quotations that give voice to your persona's feelings and ideas about using or visiting your site (and about the group, organization, person, movement, etc. which the site represents)
- In inventing and fleshing out your persona, concentrate on the challenges posed by that persona to your site's purpose, design, and function
- Use the persona to brainstorm features (see the complete list under "Tips for Using your Personas," in the article Getting the most out of personas). Have one member of your group "role-play" being the persona as the other members ask about or suggest features of a perspective web site. Role-players, don't make it too easy!
Sample Persona Process
We'll first do an example together to unpack the characteristics of users of a particular web site: the site for this class.
Creating a Persona
I will ask you to work in groups to develop two personas for users of a web site for a new club on campus (the nature of the club is up to your group).
Each of your personas should look like the one, "Peter: The busy parent," from the tutorial Getting the most out of personas, including a ficticious name and picture inserted into Moodle as a visible image.
Develop each of the persona profiles in a new discussion in the forum "Personas," either in a single message, or in a series of messages by different members of your groupe (to allow simultaneous work).
Title the discussion with the initials of everyone in your group followed by the ficticious name of the persona and the name of the ficticious club (for example, "GH, TM, BB, RZ, Ted and the Meteorology Club).
At the top of the discussion, be sure to describe the club the web site would serve.
The discussion should include at the bottom the complete names of everyone in your group who participated.
We will follow steps detailed on the web page Step by step guide to scenario mapping to produce a scenario map like the one under #9, "Paul the Online Student." Work in your group to brainstorm. I will provide you with post-its.