UX Discovery: Personas, Part 1

My goal is to be working as a software developer before the year 2016. My website will help me achieve this goal by showing local tech folk my knowledge, skills and achievements. All updates to this project can be found on the main project page.

My Trepidation with Personas

I’m excited to continue my exploration of UX Design, but personas make me nervous. It means I have to talk to people. I’m not the hide-in-a-dark-room-all-alone kind of developer, but I’m not a social butterfly either. I also like to sound like I know what I’m talking about, but since I’m learning about UX I don’t know what I’m talking about yet. It’s much easier to admit ignorance behind a keyboard. It’s much more difficult to admit it when talking to people who I want to consider my peers and bosses someday soon.

Who is my Audience?

Part of my purpose for this website is to “show local tech folk my knowledge, skills and abilities.” Who are these tech folk? What information do they want to know? I decided to group my audience into 2 personas: people who make hiring decisions regarding software developers and curious programmers. I don’t think I’ll ever have more than 3 personas unless absolutely needed. I would just get overwhelmed.

Finding out more about my audience?

Users are the most important people involved in a UX project. Without users, a website/app/program is just an exercise in programming. I want my projects to be useful tools for other people so I need to find out what they want. I’ve found that the best way to find out what people want is to ask them, so I’ve created a survey and interview template.

The survey gets basic information:

The interview gets to the meaty information:

  • References and Influences: References are people and organizations that I am associated with. Influences are people and organizations that my audience knows to evaluate my website.
  • Technology Expertise: In order for me to make a website that works best for my audience, I need to understand their comfort and skill with various technologies such as internet navigation, social media navigation, mobile usage and cloud computing resources.
  • Experience Goals: What is my audience looking for when they come to my website? What are their priorities? What is my audience’s expectations for the website? How do they want to feel when looking at the website?
  • Devices and Platforms: Find out what devices my audience uses to view my site. Find out what operating systems and browsers my audience uses.
  • Domain Details: used apps/websites: Find out what applications and websites my audience uses to evaluate my personality, knowledge and abilities that do not include my website.
  • Must Do/Must Never: Find out up to 3 things that my audience feels that I must always do online and find 3 things my audience feels that I must never do online.
  • Relationship with Brand: In this case, the brand is myself. Find out what functionality that my audience wants from my website. Also find out how familiar my audience is with my personality, skills and abilities.

My interview can be found here on SurveyPlanet. Please consider filling out the survey so that I can continue my research.

These templates are built on ideas from the DIY User Personas post by UX Lady.

What’s in store for part two?

In part 2, I review my survey and interview results and complete my personas.

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