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Persona Creation Persona Design Persona Development Persona Research Personas

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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CHI Persona Creation Persona Design Persona Development Persona Research Personas

Analyzing Demographic Bias in Artificially Generated Facial Pictures

Artificial generation of facial images is increasingly popular, with machine learning achieving photo-realistic results.

Yet, there is a concern that the generated images might not fairly represent all demographic groups. This has implications for persona development when approaching the goal of generating the facial pictures for the persona profiles automatically.

Analyzing Demographic Bias in Artificially Generated Facial Pictures
Analyzing Demographic Bias in Artificially Generated Facial Pictures

In research led by Joni Salminen, we use a state-of-the-art method to generate 10,000 facial images and observe that the generated images are skewed towards young people, especially white women.

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Data-Driven Personas Persona Creation Persona Design Persona Development

Who should be involved in creating your buyer personas?

Note: this post is based on my answer on Quora.

Short answer: (a) people inside the team/organization using the personas, and (b) customers/users the personas are based on.

You want the people who will be using the personas to participate in their creation as much as possible for them to internalize important customer segment information already during the creation process, and to avoid them rejecting the personas because of them being “artificial”.

When being part of the process of persona creation, the persona users are more likely to accept and adopt personas in their decision-making.

Secondly, I mentioned customers because even when creating data-driven personas (i.e., those based on quantitative numbers such as CRM or Web analytics records), you still want in-depth insights on the customers’ pain points, needs, and wants. Those are much harder to elicit using automatic means, so in-depth interviews with 6–12 customers (or more, if you want more than 3 personas) are highly useful.

See relevant persona research here: Persona Research

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Data-Driven Personas Persona Analytics Persona Creation Persona Development Persona Research Persona System Personas

How APG Assigns a Name to a Data-Driven Persona

The following is a post from the APG Team’s summer 2020 intern, Jaad Mohammed.
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If you ever thought how the APG system assigns a name to a data-driven persona, you’ve come to the right place.

Since personas are representations of a typical user segment for a product’s current customer base, the persona needs a name! Nothing could make a persona feel more like a real person than giving it a name.

Below, we walk you through basics of what APG does to create a persona and to assign a name to the persona profile.

First and foremost, we need some kind of statistical data that our persona represents. For this, APG leverages privacy-preserving aggregated data of user interactions with product content posted on major online social media and other analytics platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Google Analytics, etc. [1].