User Personas, User Stories & Design Briefs


  • Videos of your presentations from last week are available here
  • We’ll receiving feedback from Susan & her team at the Ewing Branch over then next couple of weeks
  • Today, User Personas, User Stories & Design Briefs
  • Next week, April 9, Midterm paper discussion, Flowcharts & Wireframes

Design Notebooks

Let’s take a few moments to review some of your Design Notebook entries from last week.

User Personas

User Personas are a technique for capturing information about the different types of “users” for whom you will be developing your projects. In essence, User Personas help you to define your your audience(s).

Let’s take a look at a User Persona Template example.

Now, let’s create our own example together on Google Drive.

User Persona Workshop

Working together with your team, take 1/2 an hour to create at least three User Personas:

  • two different personas for a users of your solution (e.g. two different teens with differing circumstances and/or needs)
  • one persona for an administrator of your solution (e.g. a librarian)

User Stories

User Stories are a technique for identifying specifically what each user type wants to be able to accomplish using your system. User Stories give you a checklist of features you’ll need to implement in order to fulfill the needs of your different user groups.

Let’s take a look at an example of how to implement User Stories.

Let’s create a couple of example User Stories on Google Drive.

User Stories Workshop

Working together with your team, start a new Google Drive Spreadsheet and take a 1/2 hour to create at least two User Stories for each user type you identified with your User Personas.

Each User Story should follow this formula:

“As a user type X, I want to be able to Y, so that I can Z

Design Briefs

Design Briefs are a technique for capturing the basic requirements of a project, including target audience, message & content, project architecture, budget and timeline.

Let’s take a look at a template Design Brief.


Project Design Brief

  • Working with your team, use your previous work in class including your project concepts, presentations from last week, user personas and user stories to create a design brief for your project. Include a budget and timeline, a weekly intervals for the remainder of the semester, to identify what you intend to accomplish on your project over the remaining weeks of the semester.
  • Keep in mind that this is a living document. As you progress through your work and you learn more about your project, get additional feedback from the Ewing Branch, your classmates and instructors, you may need to make adjustments.
  • Use the Design Brief Template as your starting point.


  • “Site Maps” Chapter in Communicating Design
  • “Wireframes” Chapter in Communicating Design

Design Notebook

Create a new slide in your Design Notebook and name it “Project Design Brief” and today’s date. Write a two or three sentence description of your project and provide a link to your team’s Project Design Brief.

*Assignments are due before class begins on Thursdays. Be prepared to present your work in class for discussion.

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