UXing Argos.ie Mobile: User Personas

After the time spent on brainstorming over the empathy maps, which helped me to have a global vision of what Argos is for their customers (*), it is finally the moment to outline “Who am I designing for?“.

(*) To be 100% transparent – I would like to remind that, being this project an assessment for my college and the resources were limited, I tend to make generalizations based on the best data I could get.

The “user personas” is one of the methods born from the Design Thinking movement, and widely used by the designers’ community in order to clarify and define the behaviors and expectations of the targeted customers.
In more detail, the “personas” are fictitious identities meant to group different information based on research data, processed and organized through charts, graphics, lists, etc., and usually presented in card style sheets. The aim of these is aligning the team on the ultimate goals of the project, on the needs of the users and finally guiding the design.

User personas are commonly filled with fictional data (photo, name, age, location, personality, general behaviors, and biography – but you can be as specific as desired adding side info like status, salary, channels, frequently used apps, etc. ) along by real data. Add everything you think is worth to create plausible identities who could interact with your final product expecting a design based on their own needs.

The numbers of personas usually created for a single project are 3 up to 7 – that should give you the chance to include all the accumulated data and also a wide range of possibilities in term of design. 

For a better understanding of the topic, you can find below as examples my three users personas I created for this project (thanks to JustInMind for the free template).

Maybe I am alone, but I really had a hard time trying to get the essence of this method and balancing the amount of real info with the fictional data, wondering how much of those last were worth to be inserted to create a valuable instrument for the process and not something which could have eventually distracted from it because of extra side info. In a nutshell, it was hard for me finding coherence. But in some way, I did it and now…

We have got PHILIP!

(Laptop user) To read the details: Click on right button of mouse -> Open image in a new tab

Philip Marnon is the guy built on Valerio’s empathy map. All his life experience is a frenetic race against time.
Born in the countryside, he moved to Dublin looking for “more” and trying to achieve his high aspirations. After he found his favorite career path, he gave himself completely to this, cutting out all his spare time.
Speed is the keyword of this map, and every improvement I am going to do on the website about it is for Philip.

BARBARA, the shopping lover!

(Laptop user) To read the details: Click on right button of mouse -> Open image in a new tab

Lais is the muse of Barbara Ridgell, full-time nanny and shopping lover.
Her downtime is meant to be filled with new purchases, and it doesn’t matter how much time she spends on looking for the perfect product as long as it is immediately available.
She is used to the digital technology; social media like Instagram and Pinterest are her daily inspiration source.
For her, trusting the website is essential: consistent info, short shipping time, caring customer service, reviews, personal discounts are expected to proceed with the purchase.

Last, but not least, ANNETTE JENSEN!

(Laptop user) To read the details: Click on right button of mouse -> Open image in a new tab

Lovely old lady, she has got physical issues that bond her mobility freedom.
Mixing secondary information from both the empathy maps, I envisioned Annette, the representation of non-technology-friendly people who cannot use properly the internet but need anyway the advantages of the net to complete tasks by remote.
Make the website easy to use is all for her. Outline which products are available to be delivered at home is for her also.
Let’s help Annette on buying presents for her beloved family!  

As you could assume from reading this post, conceiving these three user personas already gave me a few hints on what I can actually purpose to improve the website. 
Speed, trust and ease are my core values which to be focused on.

What’s next?

The design process is almost at its end, so now it is the time to think up different solutions, skim those and prototype what is going to be my alternative Argos.ie mobile.
How to do that?
Through the analysis of the online purchase flow and decision matrix, you will find in my next article.


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