IXD301 – Week Eight: Content Strategy, Design and User Personas

In this week’s class, we learned all about content strategy, and began to consider who our content was being made for. We looked at User Personas, and created a few examples of user personas that would help us to develop our content further and more accurately according to our target audience.

Kyle was able to give us two examples of user personas to work from:

Persona A – A Child (8–10)

What are they interested in? Is this to do with teaching? Is it fun? Is it serious? Is it gamified? IMPORTANT: Are we leaving some of the content out, because it’s not appropriate to the audience, for example the atomic weight might be a bit boring.

Persona B – An Undergraduate Student (18–22)

A different kind of person, different kind of needs. This person might want the atomic weight (in fact they might need it).
Stress that the different personas will lead to different outcomes and that before we begin to design something we need to think about who is using it and what their needs are.

User Personas

To begin developing research for the Elements project, I need to create a series of user personas.

I want to begin by creating a list of things that I want to include in my user personas. I need to understand what my users are interested in, what are their needs, what’s their story. What is my target audience? Do they require more information or less?  What questions do I want to ask my users?

 

Considering a Target Audience

For this project, I need to take into consideration what my target audience of users will be, as this will have an affect on how I approach many different aspects of my project, such as the research, the results and the design of the product. Do I want a younger target audience, such as primary school children or secondary school students? Or do I want a target audience of an older user-base, such as elderly people or people currently in work.

I have composed a list of target audiences that would be relevant to my project:

  • children (ages 5-11)
  • secondary school students (ages 11-14)
  • GCSE students (ages 14-16)
  • A-Level students (ages 16-18)
  • A-Level students studying Chemistry (ages 16-18)
  • undergraduate Chemistry/Science students
  • undergraduate students who studied a science subject in A-Level/GCSE

I think, in terms of gathering research, I would have the most access to undergraduate students, as this would be my age group and I have contact with a lot of people in that area. I do not have any contact with children, having none in my family. While this would probably be a very fun route to take in terms of a target audience, and the difference in designs could be very unique and interesting, I simply would not be able to gather enough research to support this audience. I think undergraduate students is my best option here, as it provides a wide range of diverse people that I can easily ask to provide responses for my project.

 

The Questionnaire

Now that I have my target audience in mind, I need to begin thinking about what questions I want to ask to support my research, and what would be the best information to gather. Since I am going for a more mature age group, I will probably need to ask for more information than less.

  • What are they interested in?
  • What are their needs?
  • Ask for specific stories

 

User Persona Documentation

Basics

  • Name
  • Age
  • Location
  • What do they do/occupation
  • Marital status
  • Photograph/Illustration

Short Description

A small paragraph or biography giving a brief summary of the user, including what they study, what they do for work, and what they enjoy doing in their spare time.

Needs

A list of necessities for what they want from the product or their work.

Frustrations

A list of problems or inconveniences they have faced or are currently facing.

Characteristics

A list of mostly one-worded characteristics that relate to the user. These could include:

  • creativity
  • co-ordination
  • research
  • direction
  • problem solving
  • passion
  • motivation

 

Creating User Personas

I used these two examples to build my own user personas, which would be more useful towards my own project:
My two user personas were primary school children, aged 8 and 9. I tried to create a different variety of personality between the two users, but wanted to emphasise the point that both their needs were the same – they both needed something consistent, easy to use and understand, and something that would typically excite them.

Questionnaire

I also wanted to create a questionnaire that I could give to primary school children, to better understand their needs and knowledge of the periodic table and its elements. Because of circumstance, I could not send this off to any actual children, but it was good to properly understand what I would need to ask my users, and how I would come about getting the information that I needed in a way that tailored to their needs.

Questionnaire

 

 

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