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Personas

Do numbers in personas help?

picture of some numbers in a square
The Effect of Numerical and Textual Information on Visual Engagement and Perceptions of AI-Driven Persona Interfaces

Should you include numbers in your persona profiles?

Good question!

In an experiment, we present 38 marketing and data analysts professionals with two online AI-driven persona interfaces. One with information using numbers. The other with information using text.

We employ eye-tracking, think-aloud, and a post-engagement survey for data collection. We do both quantitative and qualitative analysis to measure perception and visual engagement with the personas.

Results show that the use of numbers has a mixed effect on the perceptions and visual engagement of the persona profile.

Therefore, job role is a determining factor on whether numbers/text affect end users.

The use of numbers has a significant positive effect on user perceptions of usefulness by analysts. Numbers have a significantly negative effect on user perceptions of completeness for both marketers and analysts.

The use of numbers decrease the perceived completeness of the personas for both marketer and analysts.

This suggests that the inclusion of numbers can have a desirable effect for certain roles. However, there are possible negative effects on user perceptions.

Salminen, J., Liu, Y.H., Şengün, S., Santos, J., Jung, S.G., and Jansen, B. J. (2020) The Effect of Numerical and Textual Information on Visual Engagement and Perceptions of AI-Driven Persona Interfaces. ACM Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI 2020), Cagliari, Italy. 17-20 March, 357–368.

By Jim Jansen

Dr. Jansen is a Principal Scientist in the social computing group of the Qatar Computing Research Institute, and a professor with the College of Science and Engineering, Hamad bin Khalifa University, and an adjunct professor with the College of Information Sciences and Technology at The Pennsylvania State University. He is a graduate of West Point and has a Ph.D. in computer science from Texas A&M University, along with master degrees from Texas A&M (computer science) and Troy State (international relations). Dr. Jim Jansen served in the U.S. Army as an Infantry enlisted soldier and communication commissioned officer.