Digital Detox | Photo Personas
What is photo persona?
Personas are all about building empathy amongst your team. Great products are made when the people who deliver them care about the people who use it.
Photo persona is a persona whose story is delivered through photography.
Photos allow to get access to people’s lives through visual stories, and thus help to empathise with the persona on a deeper level.
Through photos, we can immerse ourselves into someone else’s life, experience their environment and see their world through visuals of their personal space and objects they daily interact with. Each photo has a meaning to it, and gives a better idea about the persona’s character, life style, likes, dislikes, needs and pain points.
Having got some background information, like occupation and background, photos can help to add more character, understand and connect with the persona. Do they look confident, professional, well-off, intimidated? What sense of style and fashion do they have?
A person’s space, working or personal, says a lot about their character and who they are. It is an open book, because there’s lots of important things and personal objects are there. The way they are arranged, their amount. Are they neat and organised, messy, creative? What do those objects mean to them? Are they functional or part of their interest, or passion, or mean something more to them?
What photos to include?
To fully describe a persona, yet not overburden research paper with information, I recommend to take 10-30 photos of different areas. Photos should be put in a sequence that are connected and allows to tell the story about a persona. Each persona may include photos of the following categories:
Portrait. Portraits should represent different aspects of person’s character. They can be shot in different styles and include environmental portraits / close-ups / photos at work / photos that show relationships with others / resting and relaxing photos)
Workplace / working environment. These photos should represent work relationships and space the person’s working it.
Personal space. Try to capture how the space is arranged and what are the most dominant objects in it.
Personal objects. May include detail shots or group shots.
Marine Biologist & Marine Mammal Observer
“I am passionate about the marine habitat, and surveyed for marine mammals and sea birds for Marine Life for many years.”
“We already collaborate with MarineWatch students at Falmouth (who are now surveying for us in Falmouth Bay), but also need better interaction with the public and boat folk alike!”
This researcher persona was created as part of the Lyme Bay Project for MarineLife, and informed our UX decisions, as well as guided through visual identity path.