Perfecting your personas

完善你的人物誌

(可點標題至原文,本文僅作翻譯練習)

(Link to original article by clicking the title; this page is only a practice for translation.)


A persona is a user archetype you can use to help guide decisions about product features, navigation, interactions, and even visual design. By designing for the archetype — whose goals and behavior patterns are well understood — you can satisfy the broader group of people represented by that archetype. In most cases, personas are synthesized from a series of ethnographic interviews with real people, then captured in 1–2 page descriptions that include behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and environment, with a few fictional personal details to bring the persona to life. For each product, or sometimes for each set of tools within a product, there is a small set of personas, one of whom is the primary focus for the design.

當我們面對要設計產品的特色、引導新手的步驟、互動方式、或甚至是視覺設計的處境時,我們可以假想一個使用者原型來指引我們達到上述目的;這個使用者的原型就稱作人物誌。當能依循此原型設計產品時,我們就更能理解使用者的目標以及行為的模式,進而滿足這類群體的需求。而在大部分的情況下,人物誌就是一系列描述真實人們特色、行為模式、目標、需求、技能、態度、環境等因素的民族誌;且這類描述通常以1到2頁的篇幅呈現,並大部分都包含上述較為客觀的元素。有時會為了針對特別的需要,含有少量假想的人物細節以求使此人物誌更貼近現實生活的人。所以平時在針對每個產品、各個工具或功能設計時,就會優先考量某個範圍相較小的人物誌,使產品或工具達到最好的效果。

It’s easy to assemble a set of user characteristics and call it a persona, but it’s not so easy to create personas that are truly effective design and communication tools. If you have begun to create your own personas, here are some tips to help you perfect them

其實要描繪特定情境下的使用者角色--然後把他稱作人物誌--是很簡單的;但,當要創造一個真正貼合產品設計、或在設計工具時,能有效率地溝通的人物誌,就沒有這麼容易了。如果你現在要開始設計屬於你的人物誌,以下一些要點可以幫助你完善它。


Personas represent behavior patterns, not job descriptions

人物誌應該呈現行為的模式,而非他能勝任的任務

A good persona description is not a list of tasks or duties; it’s a narrative that describes the flow of someone’s day, as well as their skills, attitudes, environment, and goals. A persona answers critical questions that a job description or task list doesn’t, such as: Which pieces of information are required at what points in the day? Do users focus on one thing at a time, carrying it through to completion, or are there a lot of interruptions? Why are they using this product in the first place?

一個好的人物誌描述不該是一個角色的任務或使命清單;而應該是用深入描述流程 (flow)的方式,記下該角色的一整天、他的工作技能、態度、環境以及目標等。人物誌應該要能回答,那些僅僅是描述工作內容或是任務清單無法回答的、關鍵、批判性的問題;像是:哪部分的資訊在某一天中哪個時刻對該角色而言是必需的?該角色是一次只專注於一件事情上然後直到任務完成;還是在完成任務的途中有非常多的中斷與干擾呢?他們又為什麼優先使用這個產品呢?

There is seldom a one-to-one correlation between personas and job descriptions. In some cases there will be multiple personas with the same job description; in others, a single persona can represent people with a wide range of jobs. If you were creating software used by call center agents, for example, you might have an experienced agent persona who is very familiar with the product, as well as an inexperienced agent who needs more prompts and written information. If, on the other hand, you were designing an e-mail application, one persona could represent people with hundreds of very different job descriptions, as long as they all shared similar goals and behavior patterns related to communication.

在人物誌以及對工作內容的描述之間,其實很少有一對一的對應關係。在一些案例裡還會有一種工作內容的描述,對應到很多種的人物誌;而反過來說,一種人物誌也可能可以代表從事各種工作的人們。舉例來說,如果你正在開發一種給客服中心使用的軟體,你可能會有一個人物誌屬於用此軟體用得得心應手的客服人員;也有一個人物誌屬於一個無經驗的客服人員--他需要更多的提示以及寫下資訊幫助記錄。另一個例子,如果你正設計一個電子郵件應用程式,一種人物誌就可能代表成千上萬種不同的工作角色描述,只要他們都類似地、都需要與彼此分享工作目標;或具有與溝通相關、相似的行為模式。


Keep your persona set small

保持你的人物誌集精簡小巧

If you’ve ever read a book or watched a movie with an enormous cast of characters, you may have found it hard to remember who was related to whom, who said what, and so on. You probably didn’t feel like you knew any of the characters very well. If you were designing a product for such a large cast of characters, could you predict how so-and-so’s cousin (whose name you forget) would behave in a certain situation? Probably not. That’s why a large set of personas is problematic — the personas all blur together.

如果你有看過由大量的角色構築而成的書籍或是電影,你可能會有很難記得他們彼此之間的關係、或是誰曾經說了什麼的經驗,進而感到自己對那些角色全然不了解。如果你正在設計一個能給大量不同角色使用的產品,你根本無從預測他們彼此之間,在某種場合下的互動效應會有什麼樣的結果。這就是為什麼一個角色範圍包含過大的人物誌是很有問題的--彼此的角色會全部模糊在一起。

Ideally, you should have only the minimum number of personas required to illustrate key goals and behavior patterns. There’s no magic number, but if you’re designing a consumer product and you have a dozen personas, then you may be making distinctions that aren’t very important. For example, if you were creating an electronic family calendar, your persona set might include a career mom, a stay-at-home mom, a career dad, and a teenager. If the career mom has the same needs as the career dad, and also does all the family management the stay-at-home mom does, you may be able to eliminate both the dad and stay-at-home mom personas.

理想上,對於你描繪的人物誌中,他們關鍵目標、或是行為模式應該要有一個最小的數量,才不會如同上述所說,彼此混雜在一起而難懂。至於到底要多少才是最好的,也不一定--如果你正在設計一個產品,且你手中有一大把的人物誌,那你應該將人物誌中不那麼重要的描繪作出區隔。比方說,你正在開發一個家庭用的電子日曆,你的人物誌中可能包含了一個工作的母親、家庭主婦、工作的父親、青少年......等。如果你發現工作的母親與工作的父親、以及家庭主婦有相同的需要,那你就可以刪除工作的父親以及家庭主婦的人物誌,才不致模糊不清。


Your marketing and sales targets may not be your design targets

你的目標客群很可能不會是你設計時所想的客群。

Many product managers and executives are surprised when there isn’t a direct correlation between market segments and personas. The people who bring in the most revenue may not be the best design target. If you were designing an in-flight entertainment system, a frequent business traveler — every airline’s most valued customer — would be a tempting design target. A business traveler would actually make a poor design target, though, because he would be too familiar with flying and with using computers and other gadgets. If you design for the business traveler, the retired bricklayer going to see his grandchildren won’t be able to use the system. If you design for the bricklayer, the business traveler will also be happy.

很多產品經理以及執行部門的員工,對於市場區隔的結果以及人物誌之間的低關聯性會感到相當驚訝:為公司帶來最多收益的客群並非經最佳設計的目標客群。如果你正在設計一個飛航中使用的娛樂系統,目標客群你可能是設定成經常在往返各地的生意人--也是對所有航空公司而言的最大客群。然而針對這種往返各地的生意人作為你的目標客群是很差勁的,因為對於這樣的客群可能會過於熟悉這種系統,同時對於其他客群,例如要去看孫子女的老磚匠而言,使用上就會過於困難。反過來說亦同,如果你針對老磚匠的需求設計飛航的娛樂系統,生意人也很可能會感到難以使用。


Add life to the personas, but remember they’re design tools first

你可以為你的人物誌加入一點人性元素,但前提是你必須銘記於心:人物誌只是一個幫助你設計的工具。

Sometimes it’s easy to focus too much on a persona’s biography. Personal details can be the fun part, but if there are too many of them they just get in the way. To avoid this problem, focus first on the workflow and behavior patterns, goals, environment, and attitudes of the persona — the information that’s critical for design — without adding any personality.

有時候會容易過於聚焦在人物誌的傳記;個人的細節可以是一個有趣的部分,但是太多就會妨礙你的初衷。為了避免這個失誤,可以先專注於工作的流程、行為模式、他們的目標、生活或工作的環境、態度;也就是專注於可以幫助你設計產品的關鍵描述上面,而先不去加入任何的個人特性。

Once you have the critical design information, add just one or two personal details, such as what your persona does after work (she goes home to watch old movies with Claude, her cat), or what personal touches there are in her workspace. You can also add life to the persona by using environmental details to reinforce important characteristics. For example, if someone tends to be incredibly busy at work, don’t just say he’s incredibly busy; instead, say there’s a sandwich on his desk that he’s been trying to find time to eat for three hours. Without a little bit of personality, personas can easily turn into generic users instead of precise design targets.

一旦對於設計有了關鍵的資訊,就可以再加入一兩個個人的細節,像是工作後都去做些什麼(回家跟他的貓咪窩在沙發上看老片)、或是在他的辦公空間中會遇到一些怎樣的人等等。你也可以加入一些環境的細節來強化該角色重要的一面--不要只是說他很忙,而應該說桌上有個放了三小時的三明治,而他一直找不到時間享用。去除一點點人性,人物誌可以輕易的從一般的使用者描述,變成設計時能精準使用的參考目標。


Use the right goals

確認正確的目標幫助你設計產品

Each persona should have three or four important goals that help focus the design. Keep in mind that goals and tasks are different: tasks are not ends in themselves, but are merely things we do to accomplish goals. Not just any goals will do, though, so it’s important to understand which types will help you make design decisions.

每一個人物誌都應該具有三到四個重要的目標面向,來幫助我們專注在設計上。必須注意的是:目標與任務是不一樣的。完成任務不是一個結束,它僅僅是我們在完成目標之前做的事情而已;雖然並非所有的目標都能完成。所以很重要的一點,就是去了解上述"可以幫助你在設計時做決定的不同目標面向"。

Life goals are only occasionally useful in design. For example, “Retire by age 45” would be of little use if you were designing a word processor, mobile phone, or PDA, but it may offer valuable insight when you’re designing a financial planning tool.

生涯的目標在設計產品時只有偶爾有用。例如:對於"45歲前退休的人"而言,若你是在設計文字處理器、行動電話或是PDA可能用處不大;但若是設計一個金融規畫工具就顯得有用地多。

Experience goals describe how the persona wants to feel when using a product; having fun and not feeling stupid are experience goals. Not every persona needs an experience goal; in most persona sets, there is one persona who represents people with a lot of anxiety about technology. One of this person’s goals is to avoid feeling stupid. Other experience goals might center on the product domain. A persona using an online banking site, for example, might want to feel confident that his transactions are secure.

感受的目標描述的是你認為人物誌在使用產品時想要的是什麼感受;感到有趣而不呆板就應該是經驗目標之一。此外,有種人物誌是對於科技感到極度的焦慮,所以對他們而言,這種人物誌的目標就是避免感到笨拙。其他對於產品上的經驗目標,舉例來說,當他們在使用網路銀行服務的時候,他們會希望這個服務可以讓他們感到方便以及安心。

Most persona goals should be end goals that focus on what the persona could get out of using a well-designed product or service. End goals may involve the work product that results from using the tool. For example, a graphic designer using a layout tool might want to create an award-winning ad. End goals can also involve indirect benefits from using a product. If a manager wants to be more proactive, a better spreadsheet tool can help her achieve this goal if it makes her more efficient.

而大部分的人物誌目標應該放在:他們在使用這個產品或服務之後,會想要怎樣的結果;也就是結果(產出)的目標。舉例來說,一個圖像設計師正在使用一個頁面設計的工具,想設計一個能得獎的廣告,這個時候,我們關心的就是她在使用此產品時能有什麼間接受益的地方。或是有個經理想要變得更主動積極,使用電子數據表格來幫助她安排時間可能就是她想要的結果。


Personas must be specific to the design problem

Organizations with more than one product often want to use the same personas over and over (“We have a salesperson persona already — why can’t we use her for the spreadsheet as well as the contact management software?”). Unfortunately, this doesn’t work because effective personas must be context-specific — they should be focused on the behaviors and goals related to the specific domain of a product. A persona’s behaviors and goals related to contact management have very little to do with those related to manipulating financial data. You could keep the same name and personal details, but you’d have to throw away the rest of the persona and start over. It’s better to start with a new set of personas for each product.

對於一些組織而言,可能會有超過一個產品但日復一日地使用相同的人物誌。(我們已經有一個店員的人物誌,為什麼我們不能同時使用它來設計表格軟體以及聯絡人管理軟體呢?)不幸的是,若這麼做是沒有什麼效果的,因為有效的人物誌是必須在特定的脈絡下理解--他們應該專注在特定產品與他們的行為及目標之間的關係。一個人物誌的行為及目標,在使用聯絡人管理軟體與使用表格軟體處理金融數據之間,會有很大的差別。你可以使用同一個名字以及一些個人普通的細節在同一個人物誌上,但是當在不同的軟體設計的思考時,就應該重頭想過。若能在各個產品設計時都重頭想一個人物誌是再好不過了。


Want to know more?

Hopefully, these tips will help you refine your personas so you can get the most out of them. Look for more on personas, principles, and other aspects of interaction design in future issues of the Cooper Journal, and keep up the good work!

希望這些技巧能夠幫助你修改人物誌,使它更加精煉。未來可以在Cooper Journal看到更多關於人物誌、原則、及其他互動設計的觀點。

祝工作順利!

Related Reading

Originally published at www.cooper.com on May 15, 2008.

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