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I am preparing for a mobile UX workshop for a client of ours, specialized in pharmacy. I am not sure if it is best to first define user personas and than the goal of the mobile application or the other way around. I originally thought to first define the goal (what are we building towards?) but it seems obvious to first define the user. Any thoughts?

Thank you

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Personas represent the targets and needs of a target group and help to develop a user friendly product. So,yes, you first create personas.

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It's definitely important to hone your focus and being fully aware of who your target is, i.e. your persona. Understanding their challenges and goals is necessary, because this will give you a big advantage in terms of empathy and appealing to each persona.

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The way I approach it is by creating the goals (business, user and site) first.

Then I define the user needs and create a requirements list and only after that I create Personas and write scenarios and user flows.

Surely, you can create personas beforehand but imo the flow is not fluent in that case as I like to write scenarios right after I create a Persona. The scenario will reflect user's goals therefore the goals should be defined before.

What you can do at the very beginning is to do some user profiling just to have a more generic understanding of your users.

I totally understand that various UX Designers do it their own way. It's just probably a thing which side you like to put the toilet paper: inside or outside. And all of us have developed their own workflow.. if that makes sense.

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UX Personas (not to be confused with marketing personas) are usually created before, as they help uncovering pain points, needs and expectations of users. How to respond to those is the foundation for the app in relation with business objectives.

Creating personas requires research and data. If you don't have this information already available, I don't think you can create true personas during the workshop. You will just collect the current representations these professionals have from their users, which might be correct or not. The closer the professionals are to clients, the better their insights will be (best are customer support officers).

So, depending on the information available and the people that will be there, you can either try to go for true personas, or just brainstorm specific user needs and problems, as a 1st step before defining the app goals.

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