1) Describe your experience of creating personas from different users’ perspectives’ gathered in interview data. Was there enough commonality between the 4 people interviewed to form a coherent persona? Or did it make more sense to create a second persona?

Our group of four women chose the topic of shopping. We divided into groups of two and each took turns in the roles of interviewer and interviewee. We then provided a verbal overview of each interview to the group and from this information the group easily extracted possible points of difference. These variables were then mapped as a continuum rather than as multiple choice. Whilst there was commonality in the group, being marriage and education, differences were immediately evident. Three members of the group shared similar shopping experience with the use of loyalty cards and awareness of advertised specials. This group was not concerned with brand but shopped to maximise their savings. They had loose mental lists of their intended buys but were heavily influenced by potential savings from discounted items.

The first persona of “Jenny” was created from the analysis of the variables on the continuum. This persona was easily identified from the data and the could be summed up by the quote, “Special offers make me happy”. It was also evident that a second persona could be created from the data as one interviewees responses differed significantly from the group and where it aligned with another group member, it appeared as a separate set of characteristics.

Persona-Jenny

2) Do you think your final persona(s) was successful in generating empathy with the users? What would you change to make it better?

The persona of “Jenny” had an authenticity and was easily identified by the group. There was enough detail about her shopping habits and feelings toward the shopping experience to give her credibility and therefore generate empathy. For example, she felt that the trolleys were heavy and immovable. To improve the persona, I would have perhaps increased the number of interviewees to enable more inferences to be drawn and included a photograph of the persona to make her more real to the users.

In contrast, the second persona was less successful as it drew the majority of the persona’s habits and feelings primarily from one participant. To improve this persona we would definitely need to conduct more interviews to improve the reliability of the results. It also highlighted the need to consider the criteria of candidates for interviews. For example, it may not be worthwhile creating a persona of a user from a broad range of interviewees including those without smart phones for a product such as an android app that requires its users to have access to specific technology.

Also it was very evident that cultural differences played a significant role in the creating our two personas with the majority of our interviewees being immigrants with English as a second language. As such, we identified that these members had less experience with product brands names and therefore brands played a less important role in shopping decision making. The personas in this exercise could be improved by increasing the diversity of the interview set to include different cultures and geographical locations.

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