User Personas are highly detailed fictional characters, representative of particular types of users in a market segment. They can be extremely useful for designing and developing mobile site/app as they provide insights about the selected target segment. To provide information relevant to mobile channel each persona should be based on market research that focuses on identifying specific types of customers who are most likely to use a company’s mobile site/app. Each persona should include age, gender, occupation, location, relationship status, type of mobile device owned, personality type, and any other features that are relevant for defining customers of company’s mobile channel. An example of user persona is given below:
- Name: John
- Age: 18
- Gender: Male
- Mobile Device Owned: Tablet
- Personality Type: Early adopter
After user personas are defined, user stories should be created for each of the personas. These stories contain an indication of how the personas would use the mobile site/app, what the personas might seek to do with the site/app, and the specific features that will enable the personas to effectively perform the tasks that they seek to perform. The objective is to eventually define user requirements by collating all of the user stories. A user story for John can be “John seeks out the latest versions of car racing games, pays for top-rated games, plays daily for an hour against other users, and likes to share his match results with his friends and other app users.”
Mobile content developers use user stories to derive a use case, which is a list of steps that define the interactions between the user and the mobile device. Based on the user story, a use case for John is created as follows:
As depicted in this use case, John would require features, such as the ability to pay for the app, to set up an account, to play the game in multiplayer mode with other players, and to share match results with his friends and other users.
After use cases for all personas are drawn, all use cases are combined in a single diagram to determine the key features that are required in the mobile site/app. This method does not determine all features that should be included but only those key features that have been identified as part of the persona and use case development process. There will be a number of features that support the key features and that can be defined during a more detailed planning step undertaken later in the planning process. For example, sharing match results may need the app to be integrated with apps that enable sharing, such as e-mail apps or social media apps. This integration is a supporting feature that can be identified at a later stage.
Utilizing personas and use cases ensures that no key features that are required by the target markets are missed and that such features form the core of the design.
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