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so I'm working on a project right now that involves multi-user persona, meaning that our personas are actually families (more than one person). This is the first time that I've met this kind of user, I tried searching online to find dynamics of creating such persona but couldn't find anything. So I'm wondering if anyone has experience with creating a persona that describes multiple people like families.

[edit] the project I'm working on right now is a home design application, it helps people visualize their ideas and share it with others. As you know, home design usually takes place in homes of couples, mostly families having children. Our approach is that we want users to share their ideas with each other and with an outside community. So what I meant by multi-user persona is people who will be using our product are actually families as a whole, not each person on his/her own. So when developing a persona, I think it's not the right move to consider that eventually each one will be using the application on his own. There are some dynamics between family members involved in home design decisions.

So my question again: how do I develop such a persona that includes more than one user? (Think of Disneyland, most of the users visiting it are families and couples, so trying to think of each user on his own would not be considerate enough) I hope this clears up the confusion.

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    Welcome to UX SE. I think you need to be much more specific in the actual question that you want to ask here. As it stands you are more announcing a project and asking if someone has experience. This is not a right type of question for stack exchange. If you can change your post to a specific question you will get better responses. see this page for help ux.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask Apr 5, 2022 at 10:28
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    What are you designing in this project? Does families consume this service, system or application as a one single unit? If not, then you should have multiple user personas, not multi-user persona. Apr 5, 2022 at 11:01
  • Can you explain how a family is a single user of the application? If it is one person of the family that is interacting with the app on behalf of the family then you still would have one persona. Or maybe one persona per member of the family if they all are users.
    – jazZRo
    Apr 5, 2022 at 13:56
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    @RobbyReindeer my bad, I didn't include details of the product so it appeared to be ambiguous. I will edit the post to be more detailed and straight to the point. Apr 5, 2022 at 20:24
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    @locationunknown I edited the post Apr 5, 2022 at 20:34

2 Answers 2

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You still need to design this for individual personas ("we want users to share their ideas with each other").

Families often go grocery shopping together, but one person usually has the ultimate purchasing decision power (as we notice when a toddler throws a tantrum because Mom won't buy his favorite candy). Your research can consider different types of families, and the different kinds of members in each of those types, but individual users with their individual problems and motivations sharing ideas with each other (even while presenting externally as a "family unit") are who you'll need to design for.

I think there's often a feeling that having too many personas is a bad thing, and we have to streamline them as much as possible. But mapping out all the different personas who would 1) be purchasing a home, 2) be looking at home ideas and 3) have some purchasing decision power will help you decide which ones are a priority, and which are not. (Your app exists to make money, and a 9-year-old user might not be as profitable as her mom for your ad partners, as an example).

By all means, if you see family-based clusters of personas, you can label and name them and map their common traits. But families aren't users. People are.

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    I absolutely love your input. "But families aren't users. People are." this sums it all up. I had to think again about some use cases where the family as a whole would be using the application but I couldn't find any. Labeling families vs. developing personas for individual users would be the challenging part for me; differentiating who is the one who eventually uses the application and decides vs. the different decision dynamics in each family that led to this decision is what I should be thinking about. Thank you for clearing this up for me. Apr 5, 2022 at 21:40
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I guess developing or creating a persona for a family or families still means developing a persona of an individual who has the decision making power or is the head of the family. For example, a family of 4 - father, mother, son and daughter. In this example, a persona can be developed centred around father being the decision maker. Same goes for single parent family. If a family has someone with disablity the center of your group persona ( family persona) must revolve around the person with disability. Because, even though it a family, but the individual habits and traits are different. That's my perspective although I have not developed family based personas.

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  • I guess you are right. What I'm going to do, instead of developing personas for a whole family, is labeling family clusters with similar traits and then developing a persona for each individual on his/her own. I think this would be more inclusive and family friendly design approach. Apr 6, 2022 at 11:35

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