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Week 3 – Design Process & Developing Personas

16 Mar

Summary

An interactive design process has many steps in order to produce a working interactive tool or design piece. These include:
– The pre-project stage which covers the briefing of what the client wants out of this design process and the resources and time the designer has to do it in.
– The concept and Planning stage aims at the client telling the designer what their goals are, what message they want to give to the consumer and who their audience are. This gives the designer a basis to what his/her strategy will be allowing them to research necessary topics.
– The design, prototype and specification stage starts with the question of how they are going to meet the client’s brief. An idea is developed through rough drawings and computer testing then develops into complex diagrams and prototypes for the actual working design product or interface.
– The production stage focuses on the design going through a series of ‘builds’ (temporarily working instances) whilst it is being designed ready for the beta build.
– The testing stage requires every element of a designed object to be checked it is working effectively and efficiently. This stage can also work with the previous stage.
– The launch and maintenance stage may not be the end of the project but may the start as the website will need to be updated and managed as long as it’s up.

A user persona is a hypothetical user of the future designed product or interface which will guide the designer’s choices and thought process when designing the product. A user scenario is a made up narrative of a consumer who would be using the product in their everyday life. It aims to gather information about the users’ goals, expectations, motivations, actions and reactions in order it to be designed appropriate for the user. For example someone who would be in a hurry, they would want a designed map to be simple and to the point. A persona is the fictional user of your product and the scenario is the context in which they use it.

An artifact persona is the product’s personality. This relates directly to who will be using the product. For example something that is designed for elderly people  to manage their health will not be confronting or use bright colours but will be mellow and it would use soft colours. Developing key words about the product’s personality can help the design process making sure the designer is not steering away from the overall feel of the design.

Reflection

Developing a persona for an interactive design project is very important as it allows the designer to know who they’re dealing with. It ensures the functional and visual design of the product appeals to the user hence making the interface react the way the consumer wants and expects it to.