Requirement gathering from Users


I am looking to gather information from users for web application but what are the techniques can be used to understand users and their goals.
How to create personas from these goals ? Can we create fictions personas ?
From goals what method can be used in creating wire frames ?

Please help me on this as i had little confusion in mind in following methods and process.

Thanks in advance !


I can appreciate your passion for learning this topics! Unfortunately, your questions are ones that can have rather long-winded (read: book length) answers. Let’s take one question as an example.

The how-to of persona creating is still up for debate. It’s a bit more of an art than a science at this point, but at the very least should be based on analytics gathered from your web application.

Here’s an example of some of the debate going on within the industry. has some great standards on the subject. The standards suggest, among other things, include providing a persona with an age and gender. There are some industry leaders that believe in removing age and gender from personas. The argument they provide is that these facets of a user don’t provide relevant context, and only add assumptions. On a certain level, that makes sense.

There are others (myself included) that believe the usefulness of a persona is two-fold. Not only does a persona allow you to synthesize data captured from analytics into usable format, but they also allow for designers to design for an actual human being rather than the generalized “user” that is so often discussed around the conference table. Removing aspects such as age and gender only serve to de-personify the persona, which seems a bit of a contradiction of terms.

I’d also argue that age and gender play important roles in certain types of websites and interactions. The age range of your demographic should affect your design, especially if you’re designing for older audiences. There’s a significant amount of research and knowledge behind understanding how older adults interact with the web.

Also, there’s an element of difference when it comes to usability as it pertains to genders. Women notice and use different aspects of a UI than men. There’s also empirical evidence that things such as font choice may have a large effect on how men and women consume user interfaces.

While it may be politically correct to have the concept that “women are no different from men,” the reality of the situations, when it comes to UX at least, is that there’s a distinct difference.

I only write all of this as a way of giving an example of some of the intricacies that are involved. There’s a great font of knowledge when it comes to creating user personas, but you’re likely going to have spend some time reading up and google searching articles to get a good feel for it. I recommend starting off with the page linked above, and going from there.

If anyone else has some good resources for our friend here, I’d love to see them!

EDIT: I took this post and ran with it for my blog post for today.


Great answer Doug.

Hey @bas2k10 – welcome. Doug’s right in saying these aren’t small questions. :slight_smile:

This list of UX techniques with corresponding resources (and in some cases videos) would be a good place to start.

Specifically look at the Surveys, User Interviews, Personas and Experience Map sections.


Thanks Doug !

I would really appreciate if you could share any links on research facts or proven results on how patterns/colors/designs are suitable based on age/gender. I think that would help me and other designers a lot in designing from the research checklist.


A Quick Overview of Relevant Links - Discusses web usability and aging. The biggest find here is that older adults show significantly increased success and satisfaction when consistent and persistent navigation is used across a site. - An interesting discussion on Stack Overflow’s UX section as it pertains to usability differences between the genders. - a study from Southern Illinois University on the differences between the genders. After ease of use, men prefer faster response times to anything else; women prefer consistent navigation. - A study from MIT that details the differences in how men and women consume typefaces in automotive UI. - A discussion of the “Extreme Male Brain Model” and how it relates to user experience. - A discussion about gender’s role in the UX design process. Honestly, some of the commenters are a bit rude, but some make some excellent points. - Makes the point on how different genders browse the web differently. Men are synthesizers, women are skimmers/scanners. - Deals with gender in relevant user experiences.


Thanks a lot Doug !


Doug, many thanks for mentioning my blog post … much appreciated!
Valerie DiCarlo