Bridging the generation gap: Improving empathic accuracy by Personas

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Chiu Kuan MingDinghau Huang

Abstract: With the aging population increasing, understanding this emerging user group is a current important topic. Past research has indicated that personas are beneficial for young designers to make inferences about the elder group, and can evoke creativity. Therefore, this research has adjusted the existing personas for better results in both aspects. This research has added the identity category to the existing personas, expecting that it would guide young designers to be aware of the identities of the video characters other than the elders, thus considering more potential needs and be able to understand the characters by their words instead of the group they belong to 17 students with design background were recruited in this research. They watch the interviews of the elders and write different versions of personas, followed by scoring through empathic accuracy process and creativity evaluation process. The results of the research indicated that, adding the identity category to the personas did enable to find more potential needs, however, it did not have any effect on empathic accuracy. Compared to the current design process that emphasizes on improving the empathy of designers in order to recognize a wider range of needs, this research suggests that improving the ability to identify needs does not necessarily require “reading minds” of the users, that is, having to fully understand the thoughts and feelings of users does not necessarily lead to creativity; by letting designers be aware of the identity categories of the group, the potential of recognizing needs can be expanded, thus bringing more possibilities to design.

Keywords: Persona, Empathic accuracy, Identify need, Creativity, Empathy tool

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003669

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