Designing for Personality

This week, we moved on to Chapter 3 of Designing for Emotion, which discussed designing for personality. The chapter talks about how each design has a personality and is made specifically for its users personalities.

I found this chapter to be very interesting because most humans have different personalities. For instance, my personality is not the same as some of my friends and even opposite of some of my coworkers. Taking the risk and creating a designing to fit different personalities was something interesting to learn about.

What I liked most about this chapter was it went into the exact process of how they decided the personality of the design. They do this through personas. Personas are human-like characteristics that match their target audience.

For example, the book talks about a girl named Julia. The document the company had with her information showed her demographics, her interests, her expertise in various subjects, and what influences her decisions on subjects relevant to the project. All of this information helps to understand who Julia is and her personality. The catch is, Julia is not a real person, just a representative of a user group. These categories of users are based on people that designers know, but the people they create to represent different user groups are actually fictional.

Although fictional, since they are based on a real person, the designers have the ability to pick up the phone and ask the real people questions. This becomes especially helpful when they are unsure of which perception, values, and behaviors to expect of their audience. Through these fictional representatives the designers are able to work for a specific target audience based on the information (and personality type) they gather through their personas.

The next process explored in this chapter included making a design persona for a website. This section actually gave a template for the information designers use to discover the personality of their website. The template includes topics such as: personality image (an actual image of a person that embodies the traits you wish to have in your brand – or you website mascot), Brand traits (5-7 traits that best describe the brand), Voice (if your brand could talk, what would it sound like), and more. The real life example the book gives, is of MailChimp. It goes through the entire template using the MailChimp mascot – Freddie Von Chimpenheimer IV.

So far, this chapter has been my favorite. I have finally been able to see how designers use personality and human interest in their designs. Before it all seemed like a bunch of theories that I was not necessarily buying into. Now that I have seen these examples and some of the tools they use to get their information; however, I am finally sold on the fact that designers actually do think about human qualities and preferences.

Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications