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Persona Transparency: Analyzing the Impact of Explanations on Perceptions of Data-Driven Persona

Persona Transparency: Analyzing the Impact of Explanations on Perceptions of Data-Driven Personas

Persona Transparency: Analyzing the Impact of Explanations on Perceptions of Data-Driven Personas

Computational techniques are becoming more common in persona development. However, users of personas may question the information in persona profiles because they are unsure of how it was created.

This problem is especially vexing for data-driven personas because their creation is an opaque algorithmic process. 

In this research, we analyze the effect of increased transparency – i.e., explanations of how the information in data-driven personas was produced – on user perceptions. 

We find that higher transparency through these explanations increases the perceived completeness and clarity of the personas. 

Contrary to  our hypothesis, the perceived credibility of the personas decreases with the increased transparency, possibly due to the technical complexity of the persona profiles disrupting the facade of the personas being real people. 

This finding suggests that explaining the algorithmic process of data-driven persona creation involves a “transparency trade-off”. 

We also find that the gender of the persona affects the perceptions, with transparency increasing perceived completeness and empathy of the female persona, but not for the male persona. Therefore, transparency may specifically assist in the acceptance of female personas. 

We provide practical implications for persona creators regarding transparency in persona profiles.

Read Full Research

Salminen, J., Santos, J., Jung, S. G., Eslami, M. and Jansen, B. J. (2020) Persona Transparency: Analyzing the Impact of Explanations on Perceptions of Data-Driven PersonasInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 36(8), 788-800.

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Data-Driven Personas Persona Design Persona System

How APG Assigns Pictures to Create Data-Driven Personas

The following is a post from the APG Team’s summer 2020 intern, Jaad Mohammed.
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If you have ever wondered how photos or headshots are assigned to a persona profile by the AGP system? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

First, you need to understand where exactly APG collects data and how it processes this data to create the basic structure for a set of base personas.

APG links to and accesses data from online social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Google Analytics, YouTube) via the Application Program Interface (API) of each analytics platform, given an account holder’s permission [1]

Via the APIs, APG collects the detailed interactions of users with each of the online content pieces on the corresponding platform. This data is available to only owners of a particular social media channel (e.g., YouTube channel) and is not available to the general public

Data provided by these API’s contain variables of gender, age, and country of the set of users, audience members, or customers, provided at an aggregated group level.