More information-gathering: Personas

As part of the discovery process for the website project, we are working on a Project Profile, which will provide iFactory with detailed information about our site needs. One part of that is developing personas.

From An introduction to personas and how to create them:

“Personas are archetypal users of an intranet or website that represent the needs of larger groups of users, in terms of their goals and personal characteristics. They act as ‘stand-ins’ for real users and help guide decisions about functionality and design.

“Personas identify the user motivations, expectations and goals responsible for driving online behaviour, and bring users to life by giving them names, personalities and often a photo.

“Although personas are fictitious, they are based on knowledge of real users. Some form of user research is conducted before they are written to ensure they represent end users rather than the opinion of the person writing the personas.”

They are not intended to represent an exhaustive set of users and their needs, but a typical set of users. Satisfying their needs will also reach the other users of subsections of the site. This approach to website design has been validated by many years of research; personas are only one of many sources of information that will be used to develop the new website.

The personas we are developing are based on information from the EVMS Factbook, the website survey, and the focus groups we have already conducted. We have four more focus groups scheduled for next week – two with patients and two with general community members – and will finalize the Project Profile with iFactory after next week.

For more information on personas, visit this page: Personas: Matching a Design to the Users’ Goals

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