CS408 Assignment 2 Solution

Here is the solution of assignment no. 2 of CS408 Human Computer Interaction
Semester Spring 2016
Question 1: Consider a scenario; you are an HCI specialist in a renowned software house. Here your task is to construct personas for a software product. You are required to write down all steps which are used in process of constructing personas.

            User Model, or personas, are detailed composite user archetypes that represent distinct grouping of behavior patterns, goal, and motivations observed and identified during the research phase.
Steps involved in process of constructing personas
I. Persona are based on research
(a)        Interviews with users outside of their use contexts.
(b)       Information about users supplied by stakeholders and subject matter experts
 Market research data such as focus groups and surveys.
©       Market segmentation models.
(d)       Data gathered from literature reviews and previous studies.
II. Personas are represented as individuals
Personas are user models that are represented as specific, individual humans. They are not actual people, but are synthesized directly from observations of real people. One of the key elements that allow personas to be successful as user models is that they are Personifications.
III. Personas represent classes of users in context
Although personas are represented as specific individuals, at the same time they represent a class or type of user of a particular interactive product. Specifically, persona encapsulates a distinct set of usage patterns, behavior patterns regarding the use of a particular product.
IV. Personas and reuse
Organizations with more than one product often want to reuse the same personas.
However, to be effective, personas must be context-specific—they should be focused on the behaviors and goals related to the specific domain of a particular product. Personas, because they are constructed from specific observations of users interacting with specific products in specific contexts, cannot easily be reused across products even when those products form a closely linked suite.
V. Archetypes versus stereotype
Don’t confuse persona archetype with stereotypes. Stereotypes are, in most respects, the antithesis of well-developed personas. Stereotypes represent designer or researcher biases and assumptions, rather than factual data.
VI. Personas explore ranges of behavior
The target market for a product describes demographics as well as lifestyle and sometimes job roles. What it does not describe are the ranges of different behaviors that members of that target market exhibit regarding the product itself and product-related contexts. Ranges are distinct from averages: personas do not seek to establish an average user, but rather to identify exemplary types of behaviors along identified ranges.
VII. Personas must have motivations
All humans have motivations that drive their behaviors; some are obvious, and many are subtle. It is critical that personas capture these motivations in the form of goals. The goals we enumerate for our personas are shorthand notation for motivations that not only point at specific usage patterns, but also provide a reason why those behaviors exist.
VIII. Personas versus user roles
User roles and user profiles each share similarities with personas; that is, they both seek to describe relationships of users to products. But persona and the methods by which they are employed as a design tool differ significantly from roles and profiles in several key aspects.
IX. Personas versus user profile
Many usability parishioners use the terms persona and user profile synonymously. There is no problem with this if the profile is truly generated from ethnographic data and encapsulates the depth of information. Unfortunately, all too often, it has been seen that user profile =s that reflect Webster’s definition of profile as a ‘brief biographical sketch.”
In other words, user profiles are often a name attached to brief, usually demographic data, along with a short, fictional paragraph describing the kind of car this person drives, how many kids he has, where he lives, and what he does for a living.
X. Personas versus market segments
Marketing professionals may be familiar with a process similar to persona development because it shares some process similarities with market definition. The main difference between market segments and design personas are that the former are based on demographics and distributed channels, whereas the latter are based on user behaviors and goals. The two are not the same and don’t serve the same purpose.
XI. User personas versus non-user personas
A frequent product definition error is to target people who review, purchase, or administer the product, but who are not end users. Many products are designed for columnists who review the product in consumer publications.
Question No 2  Prototype is a partial representation of a design that allows users to interact with it. In your point of view how prototype is very helpful for software designers in interacting with the users? Mention at least three points.
Prototypes are a useful aid when discussing ideas with stakeholders; they are a communication device among team members, and are an effective way to test out ideas for yourself.
(a)          The activity of building prototypes encourages reflection in design, as described by Schon (1983) and as recognized by designers from many disciplines as an important aspect of the design process.
(b)          Prototypes answer questions and support designers in choosing between alternatives.
©          Hence, they serve a variety of purposes: for example, to test out the technical feasibility of an idea, to clarify some vague requirements, to do some user testing and evaluation, or to check that a certain design direction is compatible with the rest of the system development.

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