Crafting Delight for a Persona

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A persona is an anchor point. All the actions are pivoted around this Hero model. This article details out the factors and the importance of documenting these aspects. The data captured for these various factors of persona is very much relevant towards the design strategy of a product as explained later in the article. The purpose of this article is to establish the importance of persona study.

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Research for Persona Modelling

A researcher has to capture several factors of a persona. Obviously, the requirement of the persona and its factors may differ according to the project and scope. But there are 3 major factors that have to be captured for a persona:

  1. Physical Characteristics
  2. Intellectual Characteristics
  3. Emotional Quotient

Different types of Persona are researched

Physical Characteristics

  1. Demographic Data:
    For an archetype user, this data includes: Name, Age, Occupation, Education, Geographic location, Culture, Economic Wellbeing, Family status, Friends and influencers.
  2. Ergonomics:
    How does the user physically interact with the application? Day or night usage? Hand held or lap held? Sitting or sleeping? Working or resting? Leisure or hurried? Etc.
  3. Context and environment:
    The context is the situation in which user will use the application. E.g. If it is home electric bill payment task, then the user uses the app once a month, on a Sunday, pays by card, using a laptop…
  4. Task analysis:
    Observations of the key tasks as carried out by the user, frequency of usage for the tasks, order of importance for the task are summarised in Persona Model
  5. Attitude:
    User’s behaviour with the product provides the clue to understand the user’s attitude.

Following figure shows a typical example of a persona. This example is for an app used for pigmy savings.
Example Persona for pigmy savings app

Intellectual Characteristics

  1. Expectations:
    The expectations of user as desired from the application, viz. time, money, quality, frequency, accuracy, are used to gauge intellectual involvement of the user.
  2. Needs:
    Does the product fulfil the need of the user and live by the expectations of the delivery?
  3. Challenges/Pain points:
    What are the challenges that user faces while learning, recalling, and recognising the touch points in order to execute his/her goal? A typical Persona essentially has pain points explicitly mentioned in the report.
  4. Goals and Motivations:
    The decision making process, decision influencers, and factors like location, price and after sales service are also suggestions of a good Persona model.

Emotional Quotient

  1. The response and effect that the app should play on the users’ mind is plotted as a desirable expectation from the business.
  2. Attitude towards a product, towards issues, towards work, towards play of a user forms his Emotional Quotient.
  3. A product caters to specific user personality. The personality of the user can be; sincere, fun, responsible, geek etc. The app can have treatment and tone that addresses the user’s personality model. E.g. Friendly tone, trustworthy, loyalty and so on.
  4. Motivation; the factors that motivate a user to go to a particular site, and repeatedly go back and eventually become loyal or addicted to the site. The factors that drive motivation are captured in Persona model.

The relations among aforementioned persona factors can be summarized in following diagram.
Inter-relationships among persona factors

Model of ‘Bad design – Delightful Design’

The users’ experiences with various products leave a mental impression on his/her mind. To fulfil a need, user approaches a particular site. His/her motive is very straight forward ‘to get the work done’. In the process he/she comes across a set of ‘likes’ and ‘do not likes’ of the site. The degree of frustration and painful experiences makes him/her exit the site or stay on site.

Good competitive product raises the expectations of user. Yesterday’s expectations become today’s need. So products are improving by the day and thus making everyone in the domain stand on their toes. Expectations become the basics of humans and if an application does not fulfil it, it drops to frustration. Such is the thin line and mental dynamics involved.

A concept that raise the bar and delivers beyond or finds an innovative point of view; stands out as delightful product. These products invariably lead the marketplace irrespective of, at what point in time did they enter the space. To bring about delight, a simple design cue is: ‘the wish list of user’. In other words, the cue is: what does the user desire and what is his/her core need?

Delight can be crafted by design, product offering, design communication, product service and many more ways.

Not every product can be delightful. But every product has to make sure to stand up to the ‘Standards of Expectation'

Coming back, Persona is the watch tower of product building and the team should use it as an anchor point to make all design decisions. The Hero Model persona will guide all the decisions regarding the project. So it is essential to plot it authentically and truly.

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About The Author

The author of this document is Shetall Natuu. She is a UX design consultant, author and mentor at Umber Learning Facility. This guide is a summary of her team's experience of Usability Testing Services over several projects undertaken by Umber Learning Facility.