1. Describe your experience of creating personas from different users’ perspectives gathered in the 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 different persona?

Our group decided to work on ‘public transport’ as our topic. As a group of four, we split into pairs and starting the interview process to collate the initial ‘raw data’.

Interviewing techniques and engaging with your audience is probably one of the most important steps in the iterative build of anyones’s design. For this particular tutorial, it was interesting to gage with the user to gain a level of understanding of who they were, why they used the services and their pain points in a short period of time. Questioning is best, in my opinion, in a more informal, casual basis enabling  you to get the best of their thoughts and motivations. This means that you must ask the right questions to get a full understanding of their needs and requirements. Likewise, it is just as important to listen to the user as it is to talk. Through listening, not only do you hear the answers and the feedback, but you also ensure that the conversation process naturally forms which inevitably leads to have a greater understanding of the user. Once that process starts, the questions can naturally flow with a variety of questions. This was very much the case in this practise session, where one question lead to another to assist in the building of the persona. Once one interview was conducted, we swapped partners to get another perspective.

Three out of the four interviewed were quite common in terms of age, use of public transport, etc. Using the tools discussed in the lecture and the tutorial material, we laid out the information in a table, then highlighted the commonalities. In parallel, we mapped out the users behaviour using mostly the continuum method between and maximum and minimum amount. Using the multiple choice once, both methods gave us clear insight in the persona we were developing and demonstrated to us the clear patterns.

Based on the evidence, it was clear that the one persona could be derived quite easily through the above methodology. However, one sat outside of the norm where a second persona was also created which helped to cast a wider net capturing the needs of the users/audience.

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

Yes and no. I think that it was able to catch the initial ideas, however, I am not sure that we were able to dive beneath the surface to gain the empathy needed. I think the details provided enough to make assumptions, which I would think could be a slippery slope in design, taking you somewhere you should not have gone. However, that said, I think a lot of that was attributed to the time we had as a group and the group dynamic itself and how we collated the data. With more time, I believe we could have created a more empathetic  persona for the user community.

I believe that a lot of this stem from the questions asked from each interviewer. One thing, that I think could assist in any group is agreeing on the type of questions asked before starting. This ways you could have a similar baseline when bringing all the information back together. This will be important in our project work, with somewhat of a designed scope/common thread of what we are trying to achieve as a group. Also, I think it important in putting faith and trust into the process itself of user research, ensuring that you follow each one with out skipping too quickly ahead. Important information could be assumed, and therefore lost, with design paths being  broken which goes against focussing  on the users needs and human centred design principles.