Effectiveness of persona with personality on conceptual design and requirements
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 02:44 authored by Farshid Anvari
The design of software application is a multistage creative process. User Centred Design (UCD) is a methodology used to develop applications that consider the goals of the users as a primary requirement. UCD methodologies have been increasingly used during the past decade to develop software applications and products that are tailored to the needs of individuals and allow for human computer interactions on emotional and psychological levels. Users’ tasks of consuming the information from an application or web browser are cognitively demanding. UCD designers and developers need to have special abilities, training and tools to design products that meet the demands of users. A persona, an archetypical user, is a representative of a class of end users of an application. Personas are used to facilitate the design of applications by focusing on target users and to communicate with stakeholders. Personas may take various forms: personas, mash-up personas, incomplete personas and unspoken personas. Different techniques have been used to author personas with alternative media and varying information content. However, personas do not take into consideration that personality affects the way users interact with a product or service. This thesis introduces Holistic Persona, a persona with five dimensions: factual, personality, knowledge, intelligence and cognitive process. In this thesis influence of the personality of the Holistic Persona on perceived system requirements is empirically explored. The conceptual design prepared by participants from three studies, two studies in Australia and one study in Denmark, is presented. The participants were presented with four personas that were similar in all aspects except they had two factors of their personalities varied: extravert and emotionally stable, extravert and emotionally unstable, introvert and emotionally stable, introvert and emotionally unstable. The Holistic Personas also had one common health issue (over-weight) and three other minor memory issues. The participants collectively rated persona’s personality, and prepared a conceptual design to assist the Holistic Persona (91 participants completed 218 design artefacts). In addition, the participants completed questionnaires about their demographics and personalities and took part in a spatial ability test. The results indicate that the participants were able to identify the personality traits of the Holistic Personas and their ratings of the personalities match closely with the intended personalities. The participants’ design artefacts reflected views and priorities of system requirements and were influenced by the personality of the provided personas; for an introverted and emotionally unstable personality, inclusion of a confidence builder and socializer features had a higher priority compared with the identified requirements for an extravert and emotionally stable personality. Overall participants identified 12 core requirements including requirements to reduce weight, increase fitness and assistance with memory issues. The majority of participants, who completed design and post design questionnaire, stated that their designs were tailored to meet the needs of the given personas’ personality traits. The findings support that persona with personality traits can aid software engineers to produce requirements and conceptual designs tailored to the needs of specific personalities. Hence Holistic Personas can help participants to take into account personality traits in the conceptual design process. This thesis also explores the effectiveness of the use of Holistic Personas for teaching conceptual design to Software Engineering students to allow them to deliver a useful product, particularly when access to real users is limited. In addition this thesis presents novel techniques to identify talented aspiring designers in use of persona with personality within UCD methodologies. Thirty-three participants, twenty-three of whom were undergraduate students, studying at Macquarie University, completed a spatial ability test, answered personality trait questionnaires and performed a design activity. The results indicate that participants who score high in the imagination personality factor and spatial ability tests are talented aspiring UCD designers. The implication of the study is that talented students who can design using UCD methodologies can be identified early in their studies and they can benefit by receiving advanced training. Likewise the less talented students can be given extra tutoring as abilities are not immutable and, interest and persistence is important in achieving expertise.