With the advent of science and technology, the development in these fields is continuously evolving with time. Many new and innovative technological devices are being launched in the market. Devices developed for use especially in the field of medicine and healthcare has been a major taking point these days (LeRouge et al. 2013). The user interface of these devices is being developed to make it simpler, interactive and user friendly. The developing teams that are concerned with the development of the user interfaces are highly relying on a development report prior to the development procedure so as to judge the effectiveness of the development. As safety is the major objective while developing the user interfaces for the medical devices, the development report must be framed with highest attention.
This is a report that primarily focus on the usage of personas in the development of the medical devices. As there is no prior knowledge about implementing personas in the past projects, there is a high need for developing a fair idea about the personas and their uses in the project. In addition to it, the positive and the negative aspects of the personas along with the past researches are needed to be addressed as a reference to make a clear judgement on the implementation of personas in the project.
This section is composed of the concept of personas along with their uses. In addition to it the positive and negative sides of the use of personas is also mentioned in this section. A literature review of the past researches has been performed as a form of reference.
Personas and their needs
When it comes to the development of the user interfaces, the personas play a major role in the process of development. Personas are the effective tools that work as a demo framework in the hypothetical implementation of a particular system (Markiewicz, Van Til and IJzerman 2014). A collection of personas depicts an outstanding approach in the support of design thinking and the design process. In simple words, persona is the hypothetical user who is subjected to definite set of job role and skill set oriented to definite user class attributes (Hartson and Pyla 2012). Personas are really essential as they help in determining whether there are limitations prior to the development process. They are applied prior to the development phase so as to avoid the any possibility of unnecessary and meaningless designing. They are focused on the enhancement of the communication processes among the users and also to provide a fluent and optimum experience to the users (Wang 2014). They are helpful in addressing the developers and the experts about whom the design is being designed for. There may be several challenges that the development team can face while the implementation of personas in a particular design project. These personas are critical in the development of devices designed for usage in the field of medicine and healthcare.
Now that the concept of personas is clear, there is a need to know about why they are widely implemented in the development plan of the medical devices. Personas in the implementation of a specific design is widely effective if used wisely under strict supervision (Pfeiffer 2016). There are specific needs of using personas in the design implementation. Each persona is characterised with a specific set of properties. Personas are the critical tools that defines the functionality of a user design involving all kind of edge cases (Zhang, Brown, and Shankar 2016). This tool is dedicated in the avoidance of all the possible circumstances that are arise of being edge cased to death. They are helpful to get over the struggle to device and implement for the needs and goals that are conflicting in nature and are constrained to various user classes. A specific persona is needed because it helps to clearly differentiate about what distinct features, functionality are required and what distinct features are not to be included (Nielsen and Storgaard 2014). They are also required to aid the designers to think from a user’s perspective. Often it happens that the designers design a particular device by placing self as the first user of the system. This inclination can be easily eliminated with the use of personas.
Pros and cons of personas
In the field of using personas in designing user interfaces, there are several pros and cons of using the personas. The pros and cons act as reference to the implementation of personas in future projects and designs. The pros define the positive aspects of the implementation of the personas while the cons define the negative aspects of the personas (Brigham 2013). The several pros of using personas in the intended user design include evoking an empathy with the help of a name, photograph and a product relevant narrative. The other pros of using a persona include attaining a perspective that is similar to that of the user, developing focus and for whom the medical device is being created. One of the major pros of using personas in the implementation of the system design is that they help in figuring out what decisions are to be taken in the development of the product or the software that is needed to implement the user design. Personas play a huge role in defining the effectiveness of a particular user design (Caballero, Moreno and Seffah 2014). The motive of personas in user centred designs is to meet the project goal of the design along with serving the users with a friendlier interface.
Similar to that of the pros of personas in user centred design, there are several cons as well that reflects the negative aspects of using personas in the designated design. Bad personas are known for making posing harm in determining the effectiveness of the user design. These personas are also termed as fake personas as they often dehumanizes the customers related to the development of the design (Duque et al. 2013). In the field of medicine and healthcare, manufacturing of the medical devices must be done with the proper integration of the user design because these are related with the health conditions of a user. Implementation of a bad persona may result in the adverse effect of the system design. Fake personas lead to a set of false perceptions and misunderstandings at the deepest and the most intricate levels of a user design. A specific persona derived from a section of selected personas may not always prove to be fruitful where the targeted user class is composed of several tastes and user functionalities (Cabrero et al. 2016). The medical device that is to be designed must be developed in such a manner that is free from all the limitations of implementing a persona in the user centred design.
According to Vincent and Blandford (2014) the representations of the user personas is helpful in avoiding designing in isolation. This article states that the personas are help to maintain a flow in the communication of the user needs and are responsible towards providing an optimum experience to the team. One of the main challenges as stated by this article for the developers focussed in designing interactive medical devices is that most of the devices are used by various sets of people and the developers have a very limited access for those users (Malik and Azuddin 2013). This challenge can be addressed by the use of personas in the domain but the question lies of whether it is possible to present with effective and useful personas. Several challenges were encountered while the implementing the personas. According to the article, directly connecting the personas to a user population was not conceivable and though the personas were useful in supporting communication and elicitation, it was difficult to frame them as the representatives when selecting details which were relevant and accurate. Data collection was properly done in this article as primary data was collected in accordance with the analysis of the article but the methods through which the connections can be made with the organisations regarding the use of personas.
According to Vincent, Li and Blandford (2014) the manufacturers who manufactures medical devices need to ensure the safety of the medical devices that they should not pose any harm to the users who are expected to use them. This article states that the development teams are subjected to many challenges while incorporating the human factors in the user interfaces of the design. The aim of the article is to develop a fair understanding about the constraints under which the design of the medical devices and their development. A qualitative analysis of the data has been performed in this article with the help of 19 interviews with the experts related to the designing and development of the medical devices. In addition to it, a thematic analysis is also conducted in this article. The article also identified the multiple barriers between both development teams and the intended users related to the designing and development of the medical devices. The article also propose the use of facilitating representations with the help of personas and scenarios. This article recommends the use of critical facilitating representations to develop an enhanced method of communication. This article stresses on the fact that it is absolutely ineffective to implement personas on human factored engineering without taking communication barriers into account.
According to Hosking et al. (2015) dignity is a major value that is related with the healthcare services and the technology is considered as the most fundamental part of the healthcare services. The article also considers technology as the one of the main cause for the dehumanization of the patients. Accordingly it is important to know how the medical devices can be designed to contribute towards the dignity in the field of medicine and healthcare (Anvari and Tran 2013). The course of the article is focussed on the role of the empathy equipment as a method of instilling empathy among the engineers and the developers to design a medical device with dignity. A proposal of the framework that forms a connection between the equipment and the dignity outcomes has been done in this article. In addition to it, the article also presents a broad sight of view regarding the needs of the empathy tools and also spectates how the dignity can be understood for some of the particular medical devices in the field of medicine and healthcare. The empathy tools are a part of the persona representation for the design of the medical devices. Although the secondary analysis on the empathy tools has been done thoroughly, the article does not discuss the personas in reference to the user centred design.
Personas form an integral part for the user design and development. To use personas in a particular design project such as the manufacturing the medical devices, at first a specific set of personas is required to be designated for each work role. The personas are mainly defined by the user goals that generally arise from their user classes. Though the personas are hypothetical and not a part of the actual framework, they are created from the vast information provided about the genuine users. The specific personas are mainly identified through the help of several interviews of the users. There are several pros and cons of using personas in the field of manufacturing healthcare devices, as the primary concept of personas is oriented about the safety of the users. Although there are some of the limitations of using personas in designing medical devices, it is recommended that the design and development team should take initiative of implementing the personas as the benefits are much more compared to that of the limitations. In addition to it, the results from the past researches also proves the effectiveness of persona implementation in the designing of medical devices. However, the designing team is expected to remain extremely cautious while using the personas.
From the above sections of the report, it can be concluded that the use of personas play a major role in determining the effectiveness of the designing a particular medical device. There is a high need of implementing user personas prior to the design and development of the medical devices in the field of medicine and the healthcare services. The concept of personas has been thoroughly discussed in the report. The need for using the personas has also been discussed in this report. The pros and cons of using the personas has been mentioned in this report. There are effective personas and the fake personas. Therefore, the team expecting to implement personas for the development purpose of the medical devices should carefully identify the type of personas. They should look for all the effective qualities before implementing the personas. In addition to it researches that have been made in the past with respect to the designing of the user interfaces in the mobile devices has also been made. Lastly, effective recommendations regarding the solidity of the usage of personas in the designing of the medical devices have been made in this report. Overall, this report provide a detailed information about the use of personas in user centred design.
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