Week 5: Personas

What are Personas and Artefact Personas?

User Personas

User personas are fictional users representative of a real user. User personas are a representation of the goals and behaviour of a hypothesised group of users. They are synthesised from data collected from interviews with users. That are captured in 1-2 pages descriptions include:

  • Behavioural Patterns
  • Goals
  • Skills
  • Attitudes
  • Environment or context, with a few fictional details to make them more realistic.

Here is an example of a user persona which should include the users:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Likes/Dislikes
  • other details germane to products.

The goal of defining these details is to establish the mindset and desires of the user. Personas are not only useful in the design process but also at the end to validate your wireframes to see if meeting your user’s goals.

Big Audience VS Little Audience

First we must establish who is your core audience and who is your fringe audience? Your design should satisfy your fringe audience but keep the focus on satisfying your core audience.

When defining personas we need to ask ourselves:


  • What are the tasks your user is trying to perform?

Are there different tasks for different personas?

  • Are there different tasks for different personas?

Different personas take different paths

  • What devices are your personas likely to use?

Are they expecting a cross platform experience?


Users who want to browse vs. users who want specific content.

Mental Models

Mental Models are what thoughts people from around an idea and activity. They vary from person to person.
2 examples mental models for taking a note:

  1. The young who would use a smartphone app
  2. The old who would use a post it

Mental models illustrate how your users approaches a particular problem.

Artefact Personas

As a way of thinking about the proposed official design of the product. They are useful for client meetings. To develop an artefact persona you’d ask product personality questions such as:

  • If the interface were a person, what would she or he be like?
  • How would you expect users to react when they first view the product?
  • How would you describe the product to a friend?
  • How is the product different from competitive products?
  • Which celebrity (or car, movie, etc) is the product more like or least like? why?

Also it’s important to choose experience keywords that would define and govern the visual strategy. experience keywords represent the initial 5 second emotional reaction that the archetypal persona should feel when viewing the interface.

This week’s lecture pod helped me understand just how important personas are when designing an app. It showed me just how much insight can be drawn from a simple user persona. It can help the designer see how the user may be thinking. This lecture will help be in creating my very own personas for my app