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Personas Versus Participatory Design In Software Development


Title: Creating Personas and Scenarios In Mobile Game Development Author: Lalique Last modified by: Caroline M. Eastman Created Date: 6/21/2006 10:34:14 PM – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Personas Versus Participatory Design In Software Development

Personas Versus Participatory Design In
Software Development
  • University of South Carolina Summer Research

Lalique Gumbs-Prince
Advisor Dr. John Bowles
National Science Foundation Grant 0353627
  • To explore and compare the benefits and flaws of
    the Participatory Design and Personas techniques.
  • Report the experience with personas in a
    collaborative setting. Lady Buggin Design Team

  • Developing new software applications and products
    for consumers can be challenging for software
    development teams
  • The creation and use of personas, is a fairly new
    interaction design technique, is become
    increasingly popular among software development

The Concept and Characteristics of Personas
  • Personas are fictional archetypes of users
    created by designers and engineers
  • Characteristics of personas include
  • Names and ages
  • Likes, hobbies, and pet peeves
  • Ethnicity
  • Families and socioeconomic status
  • Goals and educational achievement

Uses of Personas
  • Enhancing reality
  • Building scenarios and data collection
  • Guiding decisions with
  • Product features
  • Visual design
  • Navigation and interaction

The Participatory Design Approach in Software
  • Involves qualified users throughout the design
  • Hypothesizes that good ideas come from the bottom
    up as well as from the top down
  • Involves prototyping and low fidelity mock ups

Uses of the Participatory Design Approach
  • Giving workers better tools
  • Helping qualified users to determine how to
    improve their skills or work life
  • Addressing information technology within the
    context of the workplace

L.B.D.T Experience with Personas
  • Developing a mobile application using J2ME
  • Creating three personas 2 females and l male
  • 2 secondary personas
  • 1 primary persona
  • Choosing the correct primary persona
  • Once primary persona is pleased with the product,
    all potential users should be satisfied

Primary Persona Eve
  • 19 year-old Female from Austin, Texas
  • English Major
  • Reading, hanging with boyfriend, involved in
    campus clubs and activities.
  • Very punctual, outgoing, social, impatient, and
  • Computer literacy and proficiency Medium
  • Research, typing papers, news, and music for her
  • Cell phone use High
  • Plays games for relaxation and calendar

Secondary Persona Bill
  • 48 year-old male from New York
  • Construction worker
  • Recovering alcoholic
  • 2 kids from previous marriage and now remarried
  • Fishing, camping, bowling, watches TV (Sports and
  • Computer literacy and proficiency Low
  • Does not own a computer
  • Cell phone use Medium
  • For emergencies, to call his wife, business use,
    and takeout food

Secondary Persona Carey
  • 12 year-old from Beverly Hills, California
  • Favorite Subject Art
  • Private School Student in the 6th grade
  • Shops with her mother, plays tennis, does
    paintings and draws
  • Father Movie Producer
  • Mother Clothing Designer
  • Computer literacy and proficiency High
  • Research, Designing (Art Related), Shopping,
  • Cell phone use High
  • Has the latest technology with phone
  • Games, organizer, and talking to her friends and

Benefits of Creating Personas in the Software
Development Process
  • Focuses on a specific target audience
  • Creates a strong focus on users and work contexts
    through the fictional setting
  • Enhances memory, attention, and organization of
    detailed user data through the power of narrative

Potential Flaws of Creating and Using Personas
  • Reuse
  • Inaccuracy
  • Creating the wrong persona
  • Sets the development process back

Benefits of the Participatory Design Approach
  • Benefits for the designers
  • Users more likely to accept the system
  • Designers know the needs of the user firsthand
  • Benefits for the participants (users)
  • Improves working skill
  • Influence changes technology
  • Both have a shared knowledge and understanding of
    this process

Potential Flaws of the Participatory Design
  • Confidentiality
  • User limitations
  • Time

  • As research shows, the participatory design seems
    to lengthen the process of software development
  • As stated by Cooper, the personas technique may
    take time to master", but are quick to develop.
  • Disagreements over design decisions can be sorted
    out by referring back to the agreed-upon personas

  • Cooper, Alan. (1999). The inmates are running the
    asylum. Macmillan
  • Calabria, Tina. (2004). The introduction to
    personas and how to create them.
  • Ehn, P. (1993). Scandinavian design On
    participation and skill. Erlbaum
  • Team members include
  • Rob Jansen
  • LaShea Johnson
  • Carlos Rivera