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As the aim of this lecture is to introduce you the study of Human Computer
Interaction, so that after studying this you will be able to:

. Understand how to conduct ethnographic interviews

. Discuss briefly other research techniques
The most powerful tools are simple in concept, but must be applied with some
sophistication. The most powerful interaction design tool used is a precise descriptive
model of the user, what he wishes t accomplish, and why. The sophistication becomes
apparent in the way we construct and use that model.
These user models, which we call personas, are not real people, but they are based on
the behaviors and motivations of real people and represent them throughout the design
process. They are composite archetypes based on behavioral data gathered from many
actual users through ethnographic interviews. We discover out personas during the
course of the Research phase and formalize them in the Modeling phase, by
understanding our personas, we achieve and understanding of our users’ goals in
specific context—a critical tool for translating user data into design framework.
There are many useful models that can serve as tools for the interaction designer, but
it is felt that personas are among the strongest.
Why Model?
Models are used extensively in design, development, and the sciences. They are
powerful tools for representing complex structures and relationships for the purpose
of better understanding or visualizing them. Without models, we are left to make
sense of unstructured, raw data, without the benefit of the pig picture or any
organizing principle. Good models emphasize the salient features of the structures or
relationships they represent and de-emphasize the less significant details.
Because we are designing for users, it is important that we can understand and
visualize the salient aspects of their relationships with each other, with their social and
physical environment and of course, with the products we hope to design.
Just as physicists create models of the atom based on raw, observed data and intuitive
synthesis of the patterns in their data, so must designers create models of users based
on raw, observed behaviors and intuitive synthesis ofhte patterns in the data. Only
after we formalize such patterns can we hope to systematically construct patterns of
interactions that smoothly match the behaviors, mental models and goals of users.
Personas provide this formalization.
To create a product that must satisfy a broad audience of users, logic tells you to make
it as broad in its functionality as possible to accommodate the most people. This logic,

however, is flawed. The best way to successfully accommodate a variety of users is to
design for specific types of individuals with specific needs.
When you broadly and arbitrarily extend a product’s functionality to include many
constituencies, you increase the cognitive load and navigational overhead for all
users. Facilities that map please some users will likely interfere with the satisfaction
of other.
A simple example of how personas are useful is shown in figure below, if you try to
design an automobile that pleases every possible driver, you end up with a car with
every possible feature, but which pleases nobody. Software today is too often
designed to please to many users, resulting in low user satisfaction
But by designing different cars for different people with different specific goals, as
shown in figure below, we are able to create designs that other people with similar
needs to our target drivers also find satisfying. The same hold true for the design of
digital products and software.
the key is in choosing the right individuals to design for, ones whose needs represent
the needs of a larger set of key constituents, and knowing how to prioritize design
elements to address the needs of the most important users without significantly
inconveniencing secondary users. Personas provide a powerful tool for understanding
user needs, differentiating between different types of users, and prioritizing which
users are the most important to target in the design of function and behavior.

Personas were introduced as a tool for user modeling, they have gained great
popularity in the usability community, but they have also been the subject of some
Strengths of personas as a design tool
The persona is a powerful, multipurpose design tool that helps overcome several
problems that currently plague the development of digital products. Personas help

. Determine what a product should do and how it should behave. Persona goals
and tasks provide the basis for the design effort.

. Communicate with stakeholders, developers, and other designers. Personas
provide a common language for discussing design decisions, and also help
keep the design centered on users at every step in the process.

. Build consensus and commitment to the design. With a common language
comes a common understanding. Personas reduce the need for elaborate
diagrammatic models because, as it is found, it is easier t understand the many
muances of user behavior through the narrative structures that personas

. Measure the design’s effectivness. Design choices can be tested on a persona
in the same way that they can be show to a real user during the formative
process. Although this doesn’t replace the need to test on real users. It
provides a powerful reality check tool for designers trying to solve design
problems. This allows design iterartion to occur rapidly and inexpensively at
the whiteboard, and it results in a far stronger design baseline when the time
comes to test with real users.

. Contribute to other product-related efforts such as marketing and sales plan. It
has been seen that clients repurpose personas across their organization,
informing marketing campaigns, organizational structure, and other strategic
planning activities. Business units outside of product development desire
sophisticated knowledge of a product’s users and typically view personas with
great interest.
Personas and user-centered design
Personas also resolve three User-Centered design issues that arise during product

. The elastic user

. Self-referential design

. Design edge cases
The elastic user
Although satisfying the user is goal, the term user causes trouble when applied to
specific design problems and contexts. Its imprecision makes it unusable as a design
tool—every person on a product team has his own conceptions of the user and what
the user needs. Whn it comes time to make a product decisions, this “user” becomes
elastic, bending and strtching to fit the opinions and presuppositions of whoever has
the floor.
If programmers find it convenient to simply drop a user into a confuing filr system of
nested hierarchical folders to find the information she needs, they define the elastic
user as an accommodating, computer-literate power user. Other times, when they find

it more convenient to step the user through a difficult process with a wizard, they
define the elastic user as an unsophisticated first-time user. Designing for the elastic
user gives the developer license to code as he pleases while still apparently serving
“the user”. However, our goal is to design software that properly meets real user
needs. Real users—and the personas representing them—are not elastic, but rather
have specific requirements based on their goals, capabilities, and contexts.
Self-referential design
Self-referential design occurs when designers or developers project their own goals,
motivations, skills, and mental models onto a product’s design. Most “cool” product
designs fall into this category: the audience doesn’t extend beyond people like the
designer, which is fine for a narrow range of products and completely inappropriate
for most others. Similarly, programmers apply self-referential design when they create
implementation-model products. They understand perfectly how it works and are
comfortable with such products. Few non-programmers would concur.
Design edge cases
Another syndrome that personas help prevent is designing for edge cases—those
situations that might possibly happen, but usually won’t for the target personas.
Naturally, edge cases must be programmed for, but they should never be the design
focus. Personas provide a reality check for the design.
Personas are based on research
Personas must, like any model, be based on real-world observation. The primary
source of data used to synthesize personas must be from ethnographic interviews,
contextual inquiry, or other similar dialogues with and observation of actual and
potential users. Other data that can support and suppliment the creation of personas
include, in rough order of efficacy:

. Interviews with users outside of their use contexts

. Information about users supplied by stakeholders and subject matter experts

. Market research data such as focus groups and survelys

. Market segmentation models

. Data gathered from literature reviews and previous studies
However, none of this supplemental data can take the place of direct interaction with
and observation of users in their native environments. Almost every word in a welldeveloped
persona’s desciption can be traced back to user quotes or observed
Personas are represented as individuals
Personas are user modles that are represented as apecific, individual humans. They are
not actual people, but are synthesized directly from observations of real people. One
of the key elements that allow personas to be successful as user models is that they are
personifications. They are represented as specific individuals. This is appropriate and
effective because of the unique aspects of personas as user models: they engage the
empathy of the development team toward the human target of design. Empathy is
critical for the designers, who will be making their decisions for design frameworks
and details based on both the cognitive and emotional dismensions of the persona, as
typified by the persona’s goals. However, the power of empathy should not be quickly
discounted for other team members.
Personas represent classes of users in context

Although personas are represented as specific individuals, at the same time they
represent a class or type of user of a particular interactive product. Specifically,
persona encapsulates a distinct set of usage patterns, behavior patterns regarding the
use of a particular product. These patterns are identified through an analysis of
ethnographic interviews, supported by supplemental data if necessary or appropriate.
These patterns, along with work or lifestyle-related roles define personas as user
archetype. Personas are also referred as composite user archetypes because personas
are in sense composites assembled by clustering related usage patterns observed
across individuals in similar roles during the research phase.
Personas and reuse
Organizations with more than one product often want to reuse the same personas.
However, to be effective, personas must be context-specific—they should be focused
on the behaviors and goals related to the specific domain of a particular product.
Personas, because they are constructed from specific observations of users interacting
with specific products in specific contexts, cannot easily be reused across products
even when those products form a closely linked suite. Even then, the focus of
behaviors may be quite different in one product than in another, so researchers must
take care to perform rullpemental user research.
Archetypes versus stereotype
Don’t confuse persona archetype with stereotypes. Stereotypes are, in most respects,
the antithesis of well-developed personas. Stereotypes represent designer or
researcher biases and assumptions, rather than factual data. Personas developed
drawing on inadequate research run the risk of degrading to stereotypical caricatures.
Personas must be developed and treated with dignity and respect for the people whom
they reqresent. Personas also bring to the forefront issues of social and political
consciousness. Because personas provide a precise design target and also serve as a
communication tool to the development team, the designer much choose particular
demographic characteristics with care.
Personas should be typical and believable, but not stereotypical.
Personas explore ranges of behavior
The target market for a product describes demographics as well as lifestyle and
sometimes job roles. What it does not describe ar the ranges of different behaviors
that members of that target market exhibit regarding the product itself and productrelated
contexts. Ranges are distinct from averages: personas do not seek to establish
an average user, but rather to identify exemplary types of behaviors along identified
Personas fill the need to understand how users behave within given product domain—
how they think about it and what they do with it—as well as how they behave in other
contexts that may affect the scope and definition of the product. Because personas
must describe ranges f behavior to capture the various possible ways people behave
with the product, designers must identify a collection or cast of personas associated
with any givben product.
Personas must have motivations
All humans have motivations that drive their behaviors; some are obvious, and many
are subtle. It is critical that personas capture these motivations in the form of goals.
The goals we enumerate for our personas are shorthand notation for motivations that
not only point at specific usage patterns, but also provide a reason why those
behaviors exist. Understanding why a user performs certain tasks gives designers

great power to improve or even eliminate those tasks, yet still accomplish the same
Personas versus user roles
User roles and user profiles each share similarities with personas; that is, they both
seek to describe relationships of users to products. But persona and the methods by
which they are employed as a design tool differ significantly from roles and profiles
in several key aspects.
User roles or role models, are an abstaraction, a defined relationship between a class
of users and their problems, including needs, interests, expectations, and patterns of
behavior. Holtzblatt and Beyer’s use of roles in consoliated flow, cultural, physical,
and sequence models is similar in that it attempts to isolate various relationships
abstracted from the people possessing these relationships.
Problem with user role
There are some problems with user roles:

. It is more difficult to properly identify relationships in the abstract, isolated
from people who posses them—the human power of empathy cannot easily be
brought to bear on abstract classes of people.

. Both methods focus on tasks almost exclusively and neglect the use of goals
as an organizing principle for design thinking and synthesis.

. Holzblatt and Beyer’s consolidated models, although useful and encyclopedic
in scope, are difficult to bring together as a coherent tool for developing,
communicating, and measuring design decisions.
Personas address each of these problems. Well-developed personas incorporate the
same type of relationships as user roles do, but express them in terms of goals and
examples in narrative.
Personas versus user profile
Many usability practioners use the terms persona and user profile synonymously.
There is no problem with this if the profile is truly generated from ethnographic data
and encapsulates the depth of information. Unfortunately, all too often, it has been
seen that user profile =s that reflect Webster’s definition of profile as a ‘brief
biographical sketch.” In other words, user profiles are often a name attached to brief,
usually demographic data, along with a short, fictional paragraph describing the kind
of car this person drives, how many kids he has, where he lives, and what he does for
a living. This kind of user profile is likely to be a user stereotype and is not useful as a
design tool. Personas , although has names and sometimes even cars and family
members, these are employed sparingly as narrative tools to help better communicate
the real data and are not ends in themselves.
Personas versus market segments
Marketing professionals may be familiar with a process similar to persona
development because it share some process similarities with market definition. The
main difference between market segments and design personas is that the formaer are
based on demographics and distributed channels, where as the latter are based on user
behaviors and goals. The two are not the same and don’t serve the same pupose. The
marketing personas shed light on the sales process, whereas the design personas shed
light on the development process. This said, market segments play role in personas
User personas versus non-user personas

A frequent product definition error is to target people who review, purchase, or
administer the product, but who are not end users. Many products are designed for
columnists who review the product in consumer publications. IT managers who
purchse enterprise products are, typically, not the users the products. Disgning for the
purchaser is a frequent mistake in the development of digital products.
In certain cases, such as for enterprise systems that require maintenance and
adminstrator interface, it is appropriate to create non-user personas. This requires that
research be expanded to include these types of people.
If personas provide the context for sets of observed behaviors, goals are the drivers
behind those behaviors. A persona without goals can still serve as a useful
communication tool, but it remains useless as a design tools. User goals serve as a
lens through which designers must consider the functions of a product. The function
and behavior of the product must address goals via tasks—typically as few tasks as
absolutely necessary.
Goals motivate usage patterns
People’s or personas’ goals motivate them to behave the way they do. Thus, goals
provide not only answer to why and how personas desire to use a product, but can
also serve as a shorthand in the designer’s mind for the sometimes complex behaviors
in which a persona engages and, therefore, for the tasks as well.
Goals must be inferred from qualitative data
You can’t ask a person what his goals are directly: Either he won’t be able to
articulate them, or he won’t be accurate or even perfectly honest. People simply aren’t
well prepared to answer such questions accurately. Therefore, designers and
researchers need to carefully reconstruct goals from observed behaviors, answers to
other questions, non-verbal cues, and clues from the environment such as book titles
on shelves. One of the most critical tasks in the modeling of personas is identifying
goals and expressing them succinctly: each goal should be expressed as a simple
Types of goals
Goals come in many different varities. The most important goals from a user-centered
design standpoint are the goals of users. These are, generally, first priority in a design,
especially in the design of consumer products. Non-user goals can also come into
play, especially in enterprise environments. The goals of organizations, employers,
customers, and partners all need to be acknowledged, if not addressed directly, by the
product’s design.
User goals
User personas have user goals. These range from broad aspirations to highly
pragmatic product expectations. User goals fall into three basic categories

. Life folas

. Experiencee goals

. End goals
Life goals
Life goals represent personal aspirations of the user that typically go beyond the
context of the product being designed. These goals represent deep drives and
motivations that help explain why the user is trying to accomplish the end goals he
seeks to accomplish. These can be useful in understanding the broader context or

relationships the user may have with others and her expectations of the product from a
brand perspective.

. Be the best at what I do

. Get onto the fast track and win that big promotion

. Learn all there is to know about this field

. Be a paragon of ethics, modesty and trust
Life goals rarely figure directly into the design of specific elements of an interface.
However, they are very much worth keeping in mind.
Experience goals
Experience goals are simple, universal, and personal. Paradoxically, this makes them
difficult for many people to talk about, especially in the context of impersonal
business. Experience goals express how someone wants to feel while using a product
or the quality of their interaction with the product.

. Don’t make mistakes

. Feel competent and confident

. Have funExperience goals represent the unconscious goals that people bring to
any software product. They bring these goals to the context without consciously
realizing it and without necessarily even being able to articulate the goals.
End goals
End goals represent the user’s expectations of the tangible outcomes of using
aspecific product. When you pick op a cell phone, you likely have an outcome in
mind. Similarly, when you search the web for a particular item or piece of
information, you have some clear end goals to accomplish. End goals must be met for
users to think that a product is worth their time and money, most of the goals a
product needs to concern itself with are, therefore, end goals such as the following:

. Find the best price

. Finalize the press release

. Process the coustomer’s order

. Create a numerical model of the business
Non-user goals
Coustomer goals, corporate goals, and technical goals are all non-user goals.
Typically, these goals must be acknowledged and considered, but they do not form
the basis for the design direction. Although these goals need to be addressed, they
must not be addressed at the expense of the user.
Types of non-user goals

. Customer goals

. Corporate goals

. Technical goals
Customer goals
Customers, as already discussed, have different goals than users. The exact nature of
these goals varies quite a bit between consumer and enterprise products. Consumer

customers are often parents, relatives, or friends who often have concerns about the
safety and happiness of the persons for whm they are purchasing the product.
Enterprise customers are typically IT managers, and they often have concerns about
security, ease of maintenance, and ease of customization.
Corporate goals
Business and other organizations have their own requirements for software, and they
are as high level as the personal goals of the individual. “to increase our profit” is
pretty fundamental to the broad of directors or the stockholders. The designers use
these goals to stay focused on the bigger issues and to avoid getting distracted by
tasks or other false goals.

. Increase profit

. Increase market share

. Defeat the competition

. Use resources more efficiently

. Offer more products or services
Technical goals
Most of the software-based products we use everyday are created with technical goals
in mind. Many of these goals ease the task of software creation, which is a
programmer’s goal. This is why they take precedence at the expense of the users’

. Save money

. Run in a browser

. Safeguard data integrity

. Increase program execution efficiency
Constructing personas
Creating believable and useful personas requires an equal measure of detailed analysis
and creative synthesis. A standardized process aids both of these activities
Process of constructing personas involve following steps:
1. revisit the persona hypothesis
2. map interview subjects to behavioral variables
3. identify significant behavior patterns
4. synthesize characteristics and relevant goals.
5. check for completeness.
6. develop narratives
7. designate persona types

revisit the persona hypothesis
after you have completed your research and performed a cursory organization of the
data, you next compare patterns identified in the data to the assumptions make in the
persona hypothesis. Were the possible roles that you identified truly distinct? Were
the behavioral variables you identified valid? Were there additional, unanticipated
ones, or ones you anticipated that weren’t supported by data?
If your data is at variance with your assumptions, you need to add, subtract, or modify
the roles and behaviors you anticipated. If the variance is significant enough, you may
consider additional interviews to cover any gaps in the new behavioral ranges that
you’ve discovered.
Map interview subjects to behavioral variables
After you are satisfied that you have identified the entire set f behavioral variables
exhibited by your interview subjects, the next step is to map each interviewee against
each variable range that applies. The precision of this mapping isn’t as critical as
identifying the placement f interviewees in relationship to each other. It is the way
multiple subjects cluster on each variable axis that is significant as show in figure.
Identify significant behavior patterns
After you have mapped your inteview subjects, you see clusters of particular subjects
that occur across multiple ranges or variables. A set of subjects who cluster in six to
eight different variables will likely represent a significant behavior patterns that will
form the basis of a persona. Some specialized role may exhibit only one significant
pattern, but typically you will find two or even three such patterns. For a pattern to be
valid, there must be a logical or causative connection between the clustered behaviors,
not just a spurious correlation.

Synthesize charaterisris and relevant goals
For each significant behavior pattern you identify, you must synthesize details from
your data. Bescribe the potential use environment, typical workday, current solutions
and frustrations, and relevant relationships with other.
Brief bullet points describeing characteristics of the behavior are sufficient. Stick to
observed behaviors as mush as possible; a descriptin or two tht sharpen the
personalities of your personas an help bring them to life.
One fictional detail at this stage is important: the persona’s first name and last names.
The name should be evocative of the type of person the persona is, without tending
toward cariature or stereotype.
Goals are the most critical detail to synthesize from your interviews and observations
of behaviors. Goals are best derived from an analysis of the group of behaviors
comprising eah persona. By identifying the logical connections between each
persona’s behaviors, you can begin to inferthe goals that lead to those behaviors. You
can infer goals both by observing actions and by analyzing subject responses togoaloriented
interview questions.
Develop narratives
Your list of bullet point characteristics and goals point ot the essence of complex
behaviors, but leaves much implied. Third-person narrative is far moer powerful in
conveying the persona’s attitudes, needs, and problems to other team members. It also
deepens the designer’s connection to the personas and their motivations.
A typical narrative should not be longer than one or two pages of prose. The narrative
must be nature, contain some fictional events and reactions, but as previously
discussed, it is not a short story. The best narrative quickly introduces the persona in
terms of his job or lifestyle, and briefly sketches a day in his life, including peeves,
concerns, and interests that have direct bearing on the product.
Be careful about precision of detail in your descriptions. The detail should not exceed
the depth of your research.
When you start developing your narrative, choose photographs f your personas.
Photographs make them feel more real as you create the narrative and engage others
on the team when you are finished.
Designate persona types
By now your personas should feel very much like a set of real people that you feel
you know. The final step in persona construction finishes the process f turning your
qualitative research into a powerful set of design tools.
There are six types of persona, and they are typically designated in roughly the
ordered listed here;

. primary

. secondary


. supplemental

. customer

. served

. negative
Primary personas
primary personas represent the primary target for the design of an interface. There can
be only one primary persona per interface for a product, but it is possible for some
products to have multiple distinct interfaces, each targeted at a distinct primary
Secondary personas
Sometimes a situation arises in which a persona would be entirely satisfied by a
primary persona’s interface if one or two specific additional needs were addressed by
the interface. This indicates that the persona in question is a secondary persona for
that interface, and the design of that interface must address those needs without
getting in the way of the primary persona. Typically, an interface will have zero to
two secondary personas.
Supplemental personas
User personas that are not primary or secondary are supplemental personas: they are
completely satisfied by one of the primary interface. There can be any number of
supplemental personas associated with an interface. Often political personas—the one
added to the cast to address stakeholder assumptions—become supplemental
Customer persona
Ustomer personas address the needs of coustomers, not end users. Typically, customer
personas are treated like secondary personas. However, in some enterprise
environment, some customer personas may be primary personas for their own
administrative interface.
Served personas
Served personas are somewhat different from the persona types already discussed.
They are not users of the product at all; however, they are diretly affected by the use
of the product. Served personas provide a way to track second-order social and
physical ramifications of products. These are treated like secondary personas.
Negative personas
Like served personas, negative personas aren’t users of the product. Unlike served
personas, their use is purely rhetorical, to help communicate to other members of the

team who should definitely not be the design target for the product. Good candidates
for negative personas are often technologiy-savvy early-adopter personas for
consumer products and IT specialists for end-user enterprise products.

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