Showing research for personal projects


I was wondering how do I go about showing research such as personas and competitive analysis if I was doing a personal project? Would I still do real personas? What about for a competitive analysis, should I show a deliverable chart or something?


I don’t understand what you my by real personas, but if you mean like an official looking persona, then yes. Even if it is a personal project, it could be a great reference when you come back to your work later. Even if you need to communicate your ideas to someone else later, it’d be really helpful.
Competitive analysis usually ends up looking like an excel sheet with aspects compared side by side.
So I’d suggest you do this one as well, since its simple and very useful to have for reference.


Hi @ralphc-nyc ,
Could you clarify what you mean by real personas (or how you think things might differ in a personal project).


If I understand correctly, personas are meant to be fictitious users but are suppose to represent the audience you are aiming for? So by real I mean if I actually have to find people and interview them to create these personas? Or can I make an educated guess?


Ah, got it!

I guess it depends on the nature of the personal project. If the outcomes will be real (i.e. it’s a product that will be used) then I’d definitely do the hard yards. Just because it’s personal doesn’t mean you want it to fail!

If it is a completely fictitious project and the aim is to have something for your portfolio then it wouldn’t be as important, provided you show that you understand that process elsewhere.


Thanks for the answer. Do I rule out personas for my completely fictitious projects then? So I usually do a competitive analysis as my research for my personal projects. All of my projects will be completely fictitious. Will that be enough or should I consider doing other research methods? I also will most likely do user testing with prototypes.


Ideally your portfolio needs to demonstrate that you (a) can run through a process from start to finish and (b) have a good basic understanding of the different techniques. I don’t think it’s crucial that every project demonstrates every technique in great detail.

In all honesty though, I’ve never recruited a UX practitioner, so I’d love to hear from others on this as well.

@jacquidow might have some valuable insight.


Thanks @HAWK I’m afraid I don’t have much experience with persona’s and of all the people we have interviewed previously we have never had one shown in an interview. I would rather someone talked through their ideas and thought process and show us passion and an ability to communicate their ideas. I like it when people do a short critique of a previous project and tell us how they would improve it if they did it again.

I think it would probably depend on whether or not persona’s will be a part of the job you are interviewing for. Where I work we have BA’s who tend to do most of the user research and requirement gathering side of things.

Sorry I can’t be of much help here.