For the process of design decisions, I created three personas based on the interviewees. It is my first attempt in creating personas, therefore I chose to base part of their characteristics on real life persons and part on fiction. The mixture is a concentration of the intended user group. The characters I chose are very diverse in their lifestyle, the only thing combining them is their interest in nature, exploration and a tendency to taking things easy. They are not focusing on having the best gear, just simply on having the time of their life, all three of them in their own way.
(Personas created with the online tool userforge.com)
The reason, I used personas for this project is due to my goal to design for a broad user group instead of designing for one individual. It is quite a change in the process of design, it liberates but it also led me to face decisions based on the personas perspective, aka something fictional. I double checked as often as possible with people I interviewed but during the process, there was a lot of insecurity whether the device would fulfill its goal to change people’s perspective on bikes. The user tests need to be proof that. On the other hand, it was liberating in the sense that my own design preferences could be included into every aspect of the process. Altogether it took me a lot of iterations (about 15 different design styles) to decide for myself that I am happy with design and user experience (especially with the app). Relying on the personas gave me guidance in the process, especially since all three are based on characters who are very dear to me. This encouraged me to design for their (fictional) needs and to keep on iterating.