General Assembly - User Experience Design - Week 03


Week 3 roundup of User Experience Design course at General Assembly, London.

Session 05 - Synthesising User Research & Generating Personas


  1. Use our research findings to create an affinity map to analyse findings and trends
  2. Discover the advantages of using personas and introduce the Jobs To Be Done framework
  3. Create our own personas based on our research that reflect our target audience

Class Slides

Synthesising The Data

  • It’s a messy business
  • Ask why to dig further and really understand your users

Communicating Your Findings

In-house (lightweight methods)
  • Photos
  • Quotes
  • Bulleted lists
  • Compilation video clips
  • Key takeaways/opportunities
External (robust reports)
  • The methodology used
  • Photos of artefacts used
  • Study goals
  • Quotes
  • Supporting details
  • Major takeaways and more detailed opportunities

The objective is to keep people on the same page regardless of who they are. Investigate which deliverable would be most affective and customise the reporting to that. Understanding your in-house teams and clients will give you advantage

Affinity Maps

  1. Each addition to the map must be either:
  • An observation
  • A quote
  • A behaviour
  1. Additions can not include solutions - this would be an assumption and premature to discovering what their needs are
Post-it Note Etiquette
  • Write in pen e.g. Sharpie - this makes for easier reading and prevents too much detail being added to one Post-it
  • One observation per Post-it - you will only want to split the content during the exercise
  • Write clearly e.g. in all-caps - so everyone can read what you’ve written
  • Colour code participant data - this makes it easier for pattern recognition at a glance


Why Create A Persona?
  • As a designer it’s imperative to know who you’re designing for
  • They are sharable and actionable
  • Once invested in a persona teams can start to empathise with and champion them
  • They help you focus
Focus on what?
  • Personas keeps everyone focused on the users that actually use the product or service
  • Prevent you from designing for yourself and applying personal preference and instead design for your target audience
  • Assist with shared understanding, particularly with stakeholders who think their customers might one way when in reality they are another
Assuring Quality Personas
  • Adding context for a richer persona
    • What they would do?
    • Why they would do it?
    • Where are they when they do it?
    • What are they using to do it?
  • A persona should reflect the overall research findings and be specific
  • People won’t be able to empathise with a vague persona, not will they take them seriously

Class Exercises

In groups of 3-6 we collated our research findings from the previous session and ran an affinity mapping exercise and afterward discussed our experience as a group.

With our affinity map complete, we user our findings to create a proto-persona.

  • Bio and demographic
  • Stories, scenarios and frustrations
  • Behaviours and habits
  • Needs, problems and goals

After discussing what we had created with our partners we had a group discussion and review.


  1. Define out primary and secondary personas for our final project

Related Links

Session 06 - Introduction To Interaction Design


  1. Define the scope of IxD
  2. Explore the principles behind good interaction design
  3. Outline best practices patterns

Class Slides

Interaction design focuses on something that traditional design disciplines do not often explore: the design of behaviour. Alan Cooper{:target="_blank"}

Interaction Design (IXD) defines the structure and behaviour of interactive systems. Interaction Design Association{:target="_blank"}

Interaction Design

  • Deals with affordances
  • The design of behaviour
  • Defines the structure and behaviour of interactive systems
  • Good interaction design anticipates the user
  • Stems from HCI and ergonomics
  • Interrelated to UI design

Delight and Encouragement

  • Improve usability and increases motivation
  • Humans respond to psychological cues

UX Hierarchy Of Needs

  1. Experimentation
  2. Design
  3. Usability
  4. Reliability
  5. Core Functionality

Where does IxD fit?

  • Micro - particular » affordances
  • Macro - the whole » flow


  • Task analysis
  • User journeys and experience maps
Task Analysis
  • How do users complete their task?
  • Happy path vs the path they actually take
  • How do we begin to understand?
    • Walking through the steps ourselves
    • Observing users during usability tests - qualitative
    • With analytics data - quantitative
  • How might we communicate what we’ve learned?
    • Via flow diagrams or through words

Experience and Journey Mapping

  • A summary of a customer’s emotional and physical relationship when using your service or product
  • Used as a deliverable for IxD

Class Exercise

With our growing research for our in-class project we ran an task analysis and experience mapping exercise to put into practice what we’d just been taught.


  1. Define our primary and secondary personas for our final project
  2. Complete a task analysis and experience mapping exercise for our primary personas

Related Links