The Importance of a Persona

When designing for a customer base, whether it be in graphic design, industrial design, or really anything that creates products for customers, one of the most important steps is demographics.  “Who is our audience?” should always be one of the first questions that a designer asks him or her self about a certain design.  Different designs are made for different audiences.  For instance, a certain game for the iPhone may be made more for young males, and not so much for older females.

To properly conduct demographic research, designers create personas.  At first, I wasn’t really sure what a persona was.  However, after doing some research, I found that they are basically just studies of different types of consumers.  Most personas, as The Beginner’s Guide to Personas demonstrates, should include various attributes about a certain type of consumer.  As mentioned in that guide, the attributes can include demographic content like age/location/sex, a certain consumer’s goals when using a product or service, and even the person’s technical ability and devices they already use.

Although The Beginner’s Guide to Personas is very helpful to start creating personas, to really get an idea of what it should look like I Googled UX personas and found some very interesting designs.  Personas can range from very basic, which are probably used more in the business world, to very well designed and aesthetically pleasing, which I would assume are used more in the graphic design world.  It is a good idea because it takes the time out of conducting actual surveys and things of that nature.  While those may be helpful as well, a persona can give you an in depth look at a typical user of whatever product is being sold.  Getting to know the user better will automatically give an advantage to the producer and create for a better design.

Below are some images of my persona sketches, and some examples of ones that inspired me.

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