Comparing Persona Analytics and Social Media Analytics for a User-Centric Task Using Eye-Tracking and Think-Aloud

We compare a data-driven persona system and an analytics system for efficiency and effectiveness for a user identification task. Findings from the 34-participant experiment show that the data-driven persona system affords faster task completion, is easier for users to engage with, and provides better user identification accuracy. Eye-tracking data indicates that the participants focus most … Read more

Suggestions for Online User Studies

During exceptional times when researchers do not have physical access to users of technology, the importance of remote user studies increases. We provide recommendations based on lessons learned from conducting online user studies utilizing four online research platforms (Appen, MTurk, Prolific, and Upwork). Our recommendations aim to help those inexperienced with online user studies. They … Read more

Think-Aloud Surveys – A Method for Eliciting Enhanced Insights During User Studies

In a user experiment, we tried out a novel data collection approach consisting of combining surveys with the think aloud method. We coin the phrase “think-aloud survey method”, where participants think-aloud while completing a questionnaire. We analyzed the transcripts and found that the think aloud survey provides deeper insights into the reasoning behind the participants’ … Read more

Using the taxonomy of cognitive learning to model online searching

In this research, we investigated whether a learning process has unique information searching characteristics. The results of this research show that information searching is a learning process with unique searching characteristics specific to particular learning levels. In a laboratory experiment, we studied the searching characteristics of 72 participants engaged in 426 searching tasks. We classified … Read more

Confusion and Information Triggered by Photos in Persona Profiles

We investigate whether additional photos beyond a single headshot makes a persona profile more informative without confusing the end user. We conduct an eye-tracking experiment and qualitative interviews with digital content creators after varying the persona in photos via a single headshot, a headshot and photo of the persona in different contexts, and a headshot … Read more

Does a Smile Matter if the Person Is Not Real?: The Effect of a Smile and Stock Photos on Persona Perceptions

We analyze the effect of using smiling/non-smiling and stock photo/non-stock photo pictures in persona profiles on four key persona perceptions, including credibility, likability, similarity, and willingness to use. For this, we collect data from an experiment with 2,400 participants using a 16-item survey instrument and multiple persona profile treatments of which half have a smiling … Read more

Persona Transparency: Analyzing the Impact of Explanations on Perceptions of Data-Driven Personas

Computational techniques are becoming more common in persona development. However, users of personas may question the information in persona profiles because they are unsure of how it was created. This problem is especially vexing for data-driven personas because their creation is an opaque algorithmic process. In this research, we analyze the effect of increased transparency … Read more

Persona Perception Scale: Development and Exploratory Validation of an Instrument for Evaluating Individuals’ Perceptions of Personas

Although used in many domains, the evaluation of personas is difficult due to the lack of validated measurement instruments. To tackle this challenge, we propose the Persona Perception Scale (PPS), a survey instrument for evaluating how individuals perceive personas. We develop the scale by reviewing relevant literature from social psychology, persona studies, and Human-Computer Interaction … Read more

How Does Personification Impact Ad Performance and Empathy? An Experiment with Online Advertising

This research explores the value of personas for supporting professional advertisers to design adverts for social media. We test if a personified user group (PUG), when provided to online ad designers, results in better ad performance than when using a non-personified user group (NUG) that had no face picture or name. Our experiment has 30 … Read more

The Ability of Personas: An Empirical Evaluation of Altering Incorrect Preconceptions About Users

False preconceptions about users can result in poor design, product development, and marketing decisions, so rectifying these preconceptions is essential for organizations. This research quantitatively evaluates the ability of data-driven personas to alter decision makers’ preconceptions about their online social media users. We conduct a within-participant experiment of 31 professionals carrying out a workplace task … Read more