Personas refer to “archetypes” created by designers as a way to synthesize one’s observed data. There a numerous subconscious assumptions the different people on design teams may have. Focusing possible assumptions into a “proto-persona” (stereotype) or creating a “persona’ (from observation) can reveal to a team the choices a user might make based on the embodied characteristics in the persona. By revealing shortcomings and potential user choices, personas can serve as a way to focus and justify a design, as well as help keep a team on the same page throughout the design process.
Some important aspects to include in a persona: activities – what the user does and with what frequency, volume, etc.; goals, hopes, aspirations – what motivates the user with respect to the product domains; needs and frustrations – what gets in the user’s way with respect to their needs and aspirations; constraints – what restricts the user; skills and confidence – what the user is good at.
Contributed by Phillip Huang, Kemi Akenzua, and Nik Boström