This week I will reflect on the use of personas, during the construction stage of the web page.
I do think they are an important component of the design process. The articles that I read, point out that personas are an excellent tool in design, however they must be addressed in the right way.
The amount of personas needed in helping create a well oiled design, needs to be considered. Too many personas can leed to confusion and poor design. They must be created with a specific purpose in mind. In most cases this is to sell a product and to create a page that is simple to navigate and one that will provide the user with the necessary tools required.
The best personas to use may not always be the most obvious. Sometimes a persona may not be based around frequent users or purchasers of a product. Often they already have the necessary skills to navigate the site quickly and competently. It may be better to create a persona around a person that has no prior experience with the product. With such a person in mind, the designers are forced to simplify and create a more user-friendly site.
A good persona will look at the person and what they do on a day-to-day basis. It will also examine how they may feel whilst interacting with the site. Will they feel inept? Does the site scaffold their learning gaps?
Market segmentation coexists with personas. Such segmentation explores the attitudes and spending trends of potential users. This is distinctively different to personas. They focus on percentages of people and for example, how they spend, rather that specifics and how a site can be designed to assist. Segmentation is a helpful marketing tool, that helps shed light on to specific demographics. Personas, however, help designers to create context specific web designs.