IKEA 3. Persona and Scenario

Oct 8 & 9

Persona Creation

A Persona is an artificial person, invented for the purpose of helping a designer understand the people who will be using their product.


My task as agreed within the group was to develop the persona of family man or woman. One of the defining attributes was that this person would be buying more then one item at a time and on behalf of a person other then themselves, like children’s bedroom.

Kim Goodwin, 2005 describes, “A persona is a user archetype you can use to help guide decisions about features, navigation, interactions and even visual design.” This “archetype” is not a real person, but a synthesis of facts and observations about real users that lead to a memorable character.

Goodman E., Kuniavsky M., Moed A., (2012, 2nd ed.) Observing the User Experience. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers

As we would not be doing user research on this project we would be developing ad-hoc personas. Having read some of the theory on the benefits of creating personas, such as gaining a better understanding of the user and keeping the design process user centered and unbiased. I was still a little unsure how to go about creating the ad-hoc persona.

I looked explored the term “archetype” and found a good article on breaking down personalities into separate character patterns. This helped in creating a realistic person, without having big conflicting personality traits.


Having identified certain user attributes from earlier research and with my persona in mind, the archetype informed me of some of the characteristics that they should have, for example male or female, organised or disorganised. I decided upon choosing a female as my persona as this would have a dual benefit of keeping me user focused by having to relate to the tasks though her eyes. Secondly, it added a bit more reality to the persona, as a pregnant woman preparing the bedroom for the new arrival.

Another good example on formulating the persona was an article from Usability.gov. It help me break down the persona requirements into segments, such as describing the user in terms of Personal Education, Profession, Technical ability and what is the user motivated by. I used these and others to cross reference against my personas character in order to make them more believable and true.


Scenario Creation

Scenarios are based on the goals and activities that people take in order to achieve them. The process for deciding which activities to include in the scenarios followed that made by Alan Cooper in The Inmates Are Running the Asylum. For each major goal of the persona, 1) which activities are most frequently taken to achieve it? 2) which of these activities are necessary to achieve it? and 3) which frequent and/or necessary activities take place as a single sequence? The scenarios are not needed to list every interaction, but are best used inform the design process on the most important user interactions and system responses.

Goodman E., Kuniavsky M., Moed A., (2012, 2nd ed.) Observing the User Experience. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers

Having gathered a list of goals that my user wants to achieve I put together the outline of a story that would cover each of the main goals. Browsing the app, creating a list of potential products and saving it for later. I gave the story context to make it more believable, for instance she comes home from work has dinner and messes around on the app for a while. Nothing too taxing, it’s done in a relaxed manner at home in front of the TV. This context I felt is how a lot of people of her character might use app in their down time at home.





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