The Choice of a Persona: An Analysis of Why Stakeholders Choose a Given Persona for a Design Task

Joni Salminen, Sercan Şengün, João M. Santos, Soon-Gyo Jung, Lene Nielsen, Bernard J. Jansen

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Although personas have been applied for two decades, not much is known about why a designer chooses a specific persona for a given design task. This question matters because if designers prefer one persona over another, then the needs and attributes of that persona would be favored in the design process, resulting in possible “blind spots” and bias in regards to other personas. To explore reasons and behaviors associated with the choice of a persona, we conduct an on-site user study with 37 participants in a workplace setting focused on a social media content creation task. Our findings show that factors affecting the choice of persona include age similarity between the persona and the designer, persona’s looks, how many users the persona represents, time spent browsing the persona information, and whether the persona is (a)typical relative to other personas. Under different persona sets, these factors were correlated with the probability of a persona being chosen for a design task, and also supported by a qualitative analysis of the think-aloud records where the participants explained their persona choice. The findings provide implications for developing interaction techniques that support users’ varying information needs and persona selection strategies, including recommenders that would increase the match between the designers’ information needs and the available personas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science
EditorsM. Kurosa
Number of pages22
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Publication date25 Nov 2023
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-48037-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-48038-6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2023
Event25th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 23 Jul 202328 Jul 2023
Conference number: 25


Conference25th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction,


  • personas
  • user choice
  • user study
  • Human Factors


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