IXD301 – User Research, Stories, Personas and Journey Mapping

Researching users

Before I pushed forward into my project, Kyle introduced me to a special part of UX design – user researching. User research is the study of target users for my potential product. This means conducting, surveys, interviews, field studies, etc. It works in various ways and methods in order to reveal problems and design opportunities, thus revealing crucial information to build a better and sharper product.

Survey – Google Form

Before I conduct anything else, I need to understand the consensus of people’s attitudes in and at primary school in the modern era. I want to create a survey that consists of a range of questions relating to school, disabilities and technology. I ultimately thought a lot longer than I should of how I will implement this. Originally, I was going to send it to a school Facebook page. At the last minute, I got the best idea as my sister works with parents/kids who are often struggling in school I got her to send the form around via WhatsApp (with also the additional help of friends siblings).

The Questions 

For the questions, I had to make them simple, structured and relevant to the topic being asked. I also added two questions for the parents.

  1. What is the age of your child? 
  2. What is the gender of your child? 
  3. Does your child suffer from learning difficulties? 
  4. As a parent do you feel like your child is learning properly? 
  5. Do you feel like you understand technology sufficiently? 
  6. What is your child’s most disliked subject in school? 
  7. Does your child like reading books? – If so, what? 
  8. Does your child enjoy playing video games? 
  9. What devices does your child currently have? 
  10. What are their favorite apps? 
  11. Would you consider using tablets for learning? 


The Responses 

Although I was slightly disappointed in the responses I got as I got nowhere near the number of responses I wanted, nevertheless I’m glad people took their time in completing it.

I feel like my survey gathered a diverse age range of candidates with 5 being 8 years old, 3 being 9 and 3 being 10. Surprising just under half of the candidates were female and just over 60 percent had learning difficulties (I assume the ones who didn’t are from friends siblings/family). However, the response I found extremely interesting was the fourth question “As a parent do you feel like your child is learning properly?” With just only 54 percent of candidates saying yes. This left a huge grey area for unsure and a small 10 percent for yes.

For some reason question number 6 messed up on google so I’ll just write results here:

  • 5 Maths
  • 3 Science
  • 2 English
  • 1 Geography

As I assumed the majority of children play video games with most possessing a device of some sort. In this case, tablets take up 45 percent which isn’t shocking. However, the last question asks, “Would you consider using tablets for learning?” with 63 percent of candidates saying yes, 9.1 p no and 27.2 are unsure. These are great findings for my project.




User Stories

Before I go any further at interactions between users and my app I have to go back to the start of this module and take a piece from my portfolio website to look at user stories. I decided to create 4 stories with it looking at both students (users) and parents (enablers). These user stories help me put myself into the shoes of the customer (user) in order to look for the desired outcome. Ultimately. these simple steps help me create a consistent and refined product by focusing on the user’s needs and motives.

From the student’s perspective, I focused on the cosmetic things the app needs such as an appealing interface, story, game artistic direction, etc. They need to be able to connect and show interest in this app as without many of these features then the application is pointless in its own goal. However, from the parent’s perspective, I focused on the actual outcome of the app, to be able to have confidence that the app has successfully learned their children new skills on the periodic table and its elements.


User Scenarios

User scenarios are stories that can describe the motivations, actions or goals that a user wants to accomplish. The scenarios work in part with the user persona’s as they manually lay down the framework of a certain context. Below I have created two scenarios:

01. Jacob

Jacob, 10, is currently in year 5 at primary school. He isn’t phased by school especially when it comes to learning about the periodic table and elements in science class. He has extreme difficulty concentrating in this class and has failed to understand what anything means. This is especially true when he finds himself writing uninspiring repetitive tasks with his pen and pencil all day. Jacob would like classes to be more immersive, interactive and most of all less boring. Jacob More appropriately Jacob would like learning to be an experience like videogames. Jacob would love a simple fun to play app that he can resonate with that rewards him for learning ultimately improving his overall knowledge in science.

02. Mary

Mary, 40, is a full-time working mother who is a parent of Jacob. She acknowledges Jacob’s problems during school, especially in mathematics and science. She finds it extremely high maintenance and tiring to sit with Jacob and do homework especially when she knows he is not learning. She is frustrated by the school’s lack of innovation to educate her child in the modern era in which she believes the school system is outdated. Mary would love a compelling and immersive app that can engage her son’s learning and report feedback to her so she is confident in its success.


User Personas

User personas are semi-fictional characters that are based on my representational customer that contain things such as user photos, demographics, environments, psychographics and goals. They help create a better user experience as it allows me as a designer to understand my target audience and their needs. For the designer and the customer, this ultimately creates a clearer vision for a more refined and simple product.

Below I designed two persona’s (Jacob & Mary) from previous analysis and surveys.

I created these two compelling user personas which I feel fit my target perfectly. In the personas, I mentioned their background, personality, goals, needs, frustrations as well as device compatibility.

Journey Mapping

A user journey map is a non-regulated visualization of a user’s relationship with my product which consists of a timeline that can include both before and after. The reason why I do this is it allows me to visualize how a user might interact with a product which allows me as a designer to see a product from a user’s perspective. For my journey map, I created a timeline based on the first encounter (discovery) to the advocacy stage. I also talked about the actions of the users in the actions, touchpoints, their mood, their needs and pain points which you can see below.


What have I learned?

This week has been extremely helpful to me in terms of showing and exploring my target audience for my digital element app. It has allowed me to discover my potential audience and put me in their shoes. Additionally, I have learned a lot of new ways to conduct UX research through a variety of these tasks.


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