User Personas & Character Sheets
Who are your users? Who are your D&D players? Who are you creating experiences for?
In order to simplify the idea of a ‘user’, UX designers create Personas. Personas are the first application of the data gathered during our User Research. Every user is different, but we can categorize particular traits these users share into a handful of user archetypes. These archetypes will allow us to identify our most common user base.
A UX Persona is a one page informational sheet detailing an imaginary ‘user’ – but based entirely on the data collected through User Research. A UX Persona has a name, head shot, and other information pertinent to the project such as education, location, profession, skills, etc. All of these details in the Persona allow UX designers to quickly place themselves in the shoes of a user when confronting design problems.
D&D Character Sheets
Unlike User Personas, D&D character sheets don’t represent the actual gamers engaged in your campaign. The Character Sheet represents the fictional character the gamer is playing. This sheet has, of course, generic gaming statistics such as strength, hit points, weapons and other common gaming tropes.
However, the Character Sheet also contains important information that will guide how the character is played, how they fit into the world you create as well as how they interact with the people within. This includes information such as background, alignment, motivation, religion and other more abstract information.
User Personas and Character sheets both provide quick access to important information used by UX Designers as well as D&D Players and Dungeon Masters.
How does a user’s age affect how they will use a service or interact with a product? Similarly, does the character’s age affect how they handle themselves in the game world? What background does a user have that will affect how a product is designed? What background does a character have that affects how they handle themselves in particular situations?
Personas & Character Sheets are both artifacts used to help create effective stories.