Image: N, A. (2015). User Persona Template [Image]. Retrieved from

In this weeks lecture it focuses on introducing,  user personas and artefact personas. And how it is a key essential part into designing how user will use the final project.

Below is a diagram that demonstrates the process of interactive digital media.

Process of Interactive.png

Image: Waterson, S. (2016) Process of Interactive [Screenshot].
Retrieved from

Lets simplify that process. Below is a user experience model. Identifying users successfully has a flow effect to interactive projects.

User Experience.png

Image: Waterson, S. (2016) User Experience [Screenshot].
Retrieved from

User personas have been integrated to user experience document since the mid 1990’s. They are fictional users representative of our real users we can reference in our creative process to inform and validate our design and user experience.

User personas are a good representation of the goal and behaviours of users. The data are general taken from interviews with users that are captured in 1 or 2 pages of description that include behaviour patterns, goals, skills, attitudes and environment context. With a few fictional contexts to make the user realistic such of which usually more than 1 persona created for each project and a 1 main persona is focused on.

User personas include:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Likes and Dislikes
  • Other details germane to the product such as:
    • Behaviour patterns
    • Goals
    • Skills
    • Attitudes
    • Their environment (or context)

The goal of user personas is for the designer to establish the mindset, desires and necessary task of users. They help design with a clear vision for users in mind. It is specific and gives shape to user base and pull designer out into vague user ideas.

Factors into User Personas

Large vs. Small audience

There are a lot of users out there, thus it is important to focus on core audience before fringe audience. In the process of deciding user personas for a project the designer must decide on what are the tasks the users are trying to inform.

Below is an example diagram of how two different users take different paths to the same target.

User Paths.png

Image: Waterson, S. (2016) User Paths [Screenshot].
Retrieved from

When developing personas, designers need to ask are there different tasks for each persona? We need to determine how those users are getting to that task in the first place.

As well as designers need to decide what devices users will use? Are they expecting cross path experience? Personas will tell designers where users are; like the use of mobile phones would be popular use for users.

Mindsets of users are key, because it determines whether the users are exploring or trying to find specific content. Designers may need to direct users when browsing for specific or non-specific things. Thus why sites have search engines and browse tools.

Below is an example of Users who want to browse vs. Users who want specific content.

User Browse.png

Image: Waterson, S. (2016) User Browse [Screenshot]. Retrieved

Mental Models

Mental Models.png

Image: Waterson, S. (2016) Mental Models [Screenshot]. Retrieved

Mental models are what thoughts people form around an idea or activity where it varies from person to person. E.g. a 16-year girl will take a mental note through using an iPhone in comparison to an elderly woman of using post it note.

Mental models are extremely important for user experience because they illustrate how a user approaches a particular problem.

Artefact Personas

Artefact Personas.png

Image: Waterson, S. (2016) Artefact Personas [Screenshot]. Retrieved

Another approach is to apply personas to the artefact (project or product) and not the user. It is a way of thinking of the proposed visual design for the project or product and what it communicates. This can be useful for client meetings where often discussion claps into subjective assertions like I don’t like green. Having developed and agreed personality for the project will allow everyone a context of subjectively evaluate the visual design and lets discussion get back on track.

To develop an artefact persona designers will need to ask product personality questions. Below are questions designers may ask.

Product Personality Questions.png

Image: Waterson, S. (2016) Product Personality Questions [Screenshot]. Retrieved

Asking questions such as the ones above can allow designers to get a better idea of the personality of thing designers are designing.

Process of Developing Artefact Persona

Step 1.png

Image: Waterson, S. (2016) Step 1 [Screenshot]. Retrieved

Step 1

Develop experience key words, were list or group descriptive words or concepts that recurs during stakeholder and user interviews. These groups of words form a foundation that will define and govern the visual strategy.

Step 2.png

Image: Waterson, S. (2016) Step 2 [Screenshot]. Retrieved

Step 2

The final key words should be done and some what displayed like the image above. Each word has supporting words to make its meaning clear. Supporting key words with photos and other forms of imagery can also be effective like a mood board. Once agreed upon experience key words will suggest strong direction for visual design.

“ I think the most important aspect of the lecture would be trying to understand your project user through user personas for it allows designers to clearly understand how a user may operate and use the project. As well as establishing what they like allows users to clearly understand the project”

Therefore it essential that designers must consider the process of user personas and artefact personas for it will allow them to have a clearer view into what their project needs to be and how users may use it.


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