Have you ever been asked to describe something and you started to talking serious about it and then suddenly someone stops you and tells you dude calm down it’s just a wand? Something similar happens a lot in collecting personas. This is from Interaction Design Foundation:
Personas are distilled essences of real users. With personas, we build empathy with target users, focus on their world, share insights/knowledge with other stakeholders to gain consensuses, make defensible decisions reflecting the persona’s/user group’s exact needs, and gauge our designs’ effectiveness through their eyes. Crucially, we create personas from observations about real users, not faceless masses – mapping users’ needs to a design’s functionality demand clearly defining needs and users. We shape personas iteratively. In dividing users into manageable groups, we represent each with a typical “embodiment” – a persona.
It happens that we, lots of time because of pressure, make a mountain out of a molehill. For example in one of my workshops, while we were watching a short film of a customer asking for some information about chocolates, I asked students what you feel about it and they started to explain that why Peter was buying Sneakers like:
- He has dogs, dogs like chocolates and he got the mood.
- He is 50 and his family is stopping him from eating those.
- Peter likes peanuts and chocolate was included with peanuts.
and nobody ever thought or spoke about maybe he likes chocolate or he’s only going to satisfy his hunger. This happens. A lot of times, we’re collecting information that are true but not worthy. We don’t care if our customer uses iPhone or Android, the important thing for us is how he uses it.
They’re different people with same needs. No need to separate them unless we can do better with separation.
A common mistake in collecting information is we’re separating people. We make databases filled with users personal information that we don’t need nor use however they’re actually in same need and we’re gonna provide service in the same way that we provided it to people we have in another database.
It’s the needs that make users different not their names or ages. In some cases, being a girl or boy, being teenager or kid makes sense cause we provide different services or products to them or we have limitations but when you don’t, first respect your time then respect your customers.