Stories are our way of understanding the world. The fabric of if –> then, motivation, conflict, and resolution helps us generate knowledge from a set of data.
Personas, user journeys, and scenarios are helpful tools that are especially powerful in this context.
A persona describes the dramatis personae, their inner necessities and perhaps also external constraints, which result from this persona and are not general. The important aspects are those that are relevant for the subsequent action in the user journey.
The drama that results from the encounter of the person(a) and their desires born of inner necessity with reality dictates the arc of the entire story that is being traversed: the User Journey. As with any drama, it is important to delineate this journey. That is, to consider exactly what part of our person(a)’s life we are looking at.
The most important part is when we get to the scenario. Because that describes the actual point of contact with what we want to build: the detailed interaction in one step of the persona’s journey.
Let’s take an example: we are asked to develop a new ticket vending machine. Whatever the persona we imagine – old or young, in a hurry or with time to spare, tech-savvy or not – we first have to realise that this persona doesn’t want to buy a ticket at all.
Rather, the persona wants to use a means of transport out of an intrinsic motivation to get to a destination. The relevant journey for us therefore begins with the formulation of the destination and ends with the arrival.
The task of building a new ticket vending machine defines our scenario as the event of purchase. The many little dramas that can happen here – the incomprehensible honeycomb map, the unclear destination selection, the confusing different fare offers, concerns about hygiene at a public vending machine, or simply the sun making the display unreadable – are to be identified, prioritised and provided with solutions.
And a solution can then also be to propose a contactless prepaid solution like the OV-chipcaard in the Netherlands instead of a ticket vending machine.