Persona based navigation vs regular navigation?

by pood   Last Updated April 25, 2015 03:07 AM

In our redesign, our agency chose a persona based navigation where we had links to our top 4 personas in the primary nav (only items and no sub-menus). Each persona page provided content that are most relevant to each persona.

We also have utility menu that had a link to a "Why" page that acts like a "Solutions" page

I've been getting a lot of complaints from internal and external users that the navigation is confusing to use and I completely agree.

I'd like to reorganize the navigation similar to competitors:

Solutions Product & Services Customer Success & Resources Why

To convince our CEO this is a good move, the changes need to be rooted in "best practices". Since I'm not an UX/web designer, I can't refer past projects.

Can anyone give me good examples or research articles on why we should redo our nav?


Answers 1

It seems as though you guys took personas a bit too literally with the concept of User-Centered Design and tried to implement personas into your web application. In short Personas seem to help designers and other stakeholders empathize with different types of users. A good place to start to learn about personas is this Smashing Magazine article.

In short one can think of different personas to understand different stake holders needs. You then compare their different goals to understand your different types of users. After that you try to implement a design then website that achieves the goals of these different personas.

A persona is a way to summarize observations of a certain set of people in the real world. And in order to make it more memorable one casts them into a character. Ie Joe the Dad with ample income and limited planning time. Another persona may be Dorothy the grandmother with a limited budget but ample planning time.

The format of a persona typically is a one page document highlighting the personas characteristics, behaviors and summarizing their goals. They may also walk through a how they accomplish tasks in their typical day. Below is an example of a persona template with topics typically covered.

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Next you typically identity Scenarios. Where when and how the story takes place. Its a set of events that describes that user/personas actions.

Then End Goals of the personas would be identified and you want to see if you can notice any common themes here. What is each personas true objective and is there any overlap.

After this designers can empathize on the personas and build designs and make decisions to help satisify those end goals. Your not making links for each persona and segmenting users into different buckets to that page. That could be an option but instead I would say you first want to see if one design could encompass the end goals of multiple personas.

I think you guys may have taken it too literally and linked specific pages for canned personas "trips for single men" , "trips for mothers" , "trips for college girls", "trips for Christian Dads" etc which lead to a confusing user experience.

Frank Visaggio
Frank Visaggio
April 25, 2015 02:33 AM

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