Persona Profiles & UX Design

Over the course of the past week, I have had my focus on a new project that I am working on: a redesign for Meditation Oasis’s mobile application called “Relax & Rest”. At the start of nearly every project, I always have questions that need answering… but this time, all I could think was “Where do I even begin?”.

My initial research began with user experience, or more commonly known in the design world as ‘UX’, and user interface ‘UI’. I came across a YouTube video 5 Steps to a Great Mobile UX by a company that goes by the name of Digit Lab. Watching DigitLab’s clip took no more than 2 minutes of my time and it was already jump starting my redesign process. I learned that there were three key things to keep in mind:

  1. What does the app do?
  2. How well does the app do it?
  3. And, What kind of experience is the user going to have?

Their video explains that during the redesign process it is essential to ask yourself, “Who is my user?”. I then came across an extremely helpful article by @damianrees entitled 5 Essential UX Questions to Ask at a Project Kick-off Meeting… which then triggered more questions… What are their goals in using this app? What are their needs? What DO they need? It is our job as designers to answer these questions and deliver to the consumer, and the only way to nail this is to create user profiles or personas.

5 Essential Questions to Ask at a Project Kick-off Meeting

A persona…. Well, it’s basically a made up profile for someone who represents the target audience. These reports express, in detail, who exactly the user is and their motivations behind using this particular mobile app. And come to find out, there is a boatload of research that is required when creating a Persona. UX-Lady.com broke the research down for me in the post: DIY User Personas.

DIY User Personas
I was taught that there are several things to keep in mind when outlining personas: the social, demographic, and geographic characteristics of this person, their basic needs, goals, and desires for using the app at hand, and the technological habits of this person (their ability to operate software), and what drives your user or what motivates them. Creating a persona is the most basic design tool used in designing a user’s experience. It explores what drives the user—what they want, need, and expect when working within your design.

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