When it comes to design research, persona is the most common research method to be used. Persona is a repersentation of a particuar user for a service/website/product. It can be used to identify the user’s motivations, expectiations and goal.
In order to make a good persona, there are four stages of information we need to collect.
Firstly, gather all the demographic information including income, occupation, interests, gender, level of education and where they live.
Then, we have to find out how the user think and feel about the service/website/product, what challenge they are having, how might we improve that.
After that, to get a better understanding of how, where and when they use the service/website/product.
After collecting all these information, we can use it to identify patterens by building a persona, pay attention to why the user is using a particular service, looking for the best solution to your product.
Persona normally are the first method designer used to visualise all the user and audience data, it is benefitical as it can increase the focus on users and their needs, to being a communication tool, to having direct design influence, such as leading to better design decisions and defining the product’s feature set.
However, even if persona is easy to use, there are sometimes fictitious elements in the persona, thus some may think that is difficult see the relationship with real users and the way that the data used is collected and analysed. What is more, persona has been criticized for not being able to describe actual people as it onlt depicts characteristics.
When it comes to implementation, personas is critized for stopping designers to meet the real users, understanding the real needs and stories of user.
But later, Lene Nielsen suggested 10 steps for persona have refuted all the criticism.
The criticisms are quite subjective, sometimes, the data cannot be collected is just because designers have asked the wrong question, so I guess, persona is still a good method for design research process depending on how you use it.