Personas Vs. Roles – What Is The Difference?

Personas and roles are user modeling approaches that are applied in the early stages of system development or redesign. They drive the design decision and allows programmers and designers to place everyday user needs at the forefront of their system development journey in a user-centered design approach.

Personas and user roles help improve the quality of user experience when working with products that require a significant amount of user interaction. But there is a distinct difference between technology personas vs. roles. What then exactly is a persona? What are user roles in system development? And, how does persona differ from user roles?

Let’s see how these two distinct, yet often confused, user models fit in a holistic user-centered design process and how you can leverage them to identify valuable product features.

Technology Personas Vs. Roles – The Most Relevant Way to Describe Users

In software development, a user role describes the relationship between a user type and a software tool. It is generally the user’s responsibility when using a system or the specific behavior of a user who is participating in a business process. Think of roles as the umbrella, homogeneous constructs of the users of a particular system. For instance, in an accounting system, you can have roles such as accountant, cashier, and so forth.

However, by merely using roles, system developers, designers, and testers do not have sufficient information to conclusively make critical UX decisions that would make the software more user-centric, and more appealing to its target users.

This lack of understanding of the user community has led to the need for teams to move beyond role-based requirements and focus more on subsets of the system users. User roles can be refined further by creating “user stand-ins,” known as personas. By using personas, developers and designers can move closer to the needs and preferences of the user in a more profound manner than they would by merely relying on user roles.

In product development, user personas are an archetype of a fictitious user that represents a specific group of your typical everyday users. First introduced by Alan Cooper, personas help the development team to clearly understand the context in which the ideal customer interacts with a software/system and helps guide the design decision process.

Ideally, personas provide team members with a name, a face, and a description for each user role. By using personas, you’re typically personalizing the user roles, and by so doing, you end up creating a lasting impression on the entire team. Through personas, team members can ask questions about the users.

The Benefits of Persona Development

Persona development has several benefits, including:

  • They help team members have a consistent understanding of the user group.
  • They provide stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the critical features of a system redesign.
  • Personas help designers to develop user-centric products that have functions and features that the market already demands.
  • A persona helps to create more empathy and a better understanding of the person that will be using the end product. This way, the developers can design the product with the actual user needs in mind.
  • Personas can help predict the needs, behaviors, and possible reactions of the users to the product.

What Makes Up a Well-Defined Persona?

Once you’ve identified user roles that are relevant to your product, you’ll need to create personas for each. A well-defined persona should ideally take into consideration the needs, goals, and observed behaviors of your target audience. This will influence the features and design elements you choose for your system.

The user persona should encompass all the critical details about your ideal user and should be presented in a memorable way that everyone in the team can identify with and understand. It should contain four critical pieces of information.

1. The header

The header aid in improving memorability and creating a connection between the design team and the user. The header should include:

  • A fictional name
  • An image, avatar or a stock photo
  • A vivid description/quote that best describes the persona as it relates to the product.

2. Demographic Profile

Unlike the name and image, which might be fictitious, the demographic profile includes factual details about the ideal user. The demographic profile includes:

  • Personal background: Age, gender, education, ethnicity, persona group, and family status
  • Professional background: Occupation, work experience, and income level.
  • User environment. It represents the social, physical, and technological context of the user. It answers questions like: What devices do the user have? Do they interact with other people? How do they spend their time?
  • Psychographics: Attitudes, motivations, interests, and user pain points.

3. End Goal(s)

End goals help answer the questions: What problems or needs will the product solution to the user? What are the motivating factors that inspire the user’s actions?

4. Scenario

This is a narrative that describes how the ideal user would interact with your product in real-life to achieve their end goals. It should explain the when, the where, and the how.

Conclusion

For a truly successful user-centered design approach, system development teams should use personas to provide simple descriptions of key user roles. While a distinct difference exists in technology personas vs. roles, design teams should use the two user-centered design tools throughout the project to decide and evaluate the functionality of their end product. This way, they can deliver a useful and usable solution to their target market.

How To write like it is your job

Writing and The Written Word

How to Write Like It Is Your Job

Many new writers come in the field with the mindset of “writing when inspiration strikes” or “writing what you understand.” Such myths deceive writers into thinking writing is not a job. Well, to build a career as a writer, you need to learn how to write like it is your job. A good starting point is doing away with away such myths.

On the other hand, what about others more experienced in writing? What fallacies and myths of the literary lifestyle can prevent you from writing like it is a job? Writing is not just a Job, it is also a business, and should such have a strategy and business plan to ensure career and personal success. It is vital for writing professionals to know the distinction of how essential a “job” is and…

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5 Basic Types of Blogs

Writing and The Written Word

If you’re new to blogging and are seeking to grow your audience, or have been doing it for a while now, then you understand the challenge of creating unique, compelling, and valuable content for your readers and potential leads. This is, perhaps, one of the main pain points of blogging. So, how can you ensure that you continually produce content that catches the reader’s attention, build their trust, and increase your conversions?

One way is to use different kinds of posts. By varying the format of your delivery, you can take charge of how well the content resonates with your readers/audience. This post will look at the different categories of blogs, their main characteristics and how you can use the various types of blog content to inspire variety on your website or blog.

Let’s dive in!

5 Different Types of Blog Content to Inspire Your…

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How You Can Leverage Pronouns To Improve Your Blog Article SEO

Writing and The Written Word

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Despite all the hype around search engine optimization (SEO), there are some very simple things that a writer can do while creating their blog posts which will improve their SEO and in some ways make the blog procedure read. Perhaps, the easiest way to do this is to replace pronouns with the actual name of the person object or subject being described or discussed. Instead of saying ‘it’, say car, barn, bus, or whatever ‘it’ refers to. With a little practice and some careful editing this is a simple approach which can add much SEO value to your writing.

Table of Pronouns

Here’s a quick list of pronouns to consider when writing and editing your blog post. This table of pronouns is by no means complete but it is an excellent starting point for some quick wins.

Subject
Pronoun

Object
Pronoun

Possessive
Adjective (Determiner)

Number

Gender

Person

I

me

my

singular

Neutral

first

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Why You Should Post Blogs Regularly

Writing and The Written Word

Just as we refuel our car engines every time they are almost empty, the blogs you post on your site perform the same function. It is the medium of attracting more traffic, sure way to get new visitors to your site, and a chance to create a strong social media presence. As a result, regular posting of blogs on your site is the backbone towards a successful blogging experience.

Unfortunately, many bloggers and website owners believe blogging works like billboard advertising. They only post few quality contents and then relax expecting magic to bring their website to the limelight. This concept doesn’t work anymore. Instead, you’d need to make regular editing, promote the contents, and most importantly, add more quality contents to your blog.

When you post content regularly, it strengthens your website by ranking higher in SEO. Based on the numerous factors search…

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Blogging – What is a Pinnable Blog Picture?

Writing and The Written Word

What is a Pinnable Blog Picture
What is a Pinnable Blog Picture

Whether you are just starting with blogging or have been doing it for years, you must know by know that images are critical elements of your posts. Online we are focused on visuals. The text comes second. How can this simple insight help you to drive more traffic to your blog? Just by filling it up with loads of cat pictures?

Well, not quite. The magic word is Pinterest.

But how can a scrapbook page for girls planning their perfect wedding and grandmas who love flower arrangements help you to increase your monthly amount of visitors?

We will show you!

How pinnable images can help you to drive traffic to your blog

First of all, you need to have excellent content that gives value to your reader. Without that, nobody will stick around. Even the best Pinterest viral campaign won’t bring you anything more…

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There is nothing like writing

Writing and The Written Word

There is nothing like writing to force you to think and get your thoughts straight.

Warren Buffett

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