Meet the personas: Perago’s user-centric approach to design

6 min read Written by: Liam Beattie

Liam Beattie, Service Designer at Perago, discusses the user research and persona mapping work he’s been supporting as part of the design system for Wales project

Perago is currently supporting Wales’ Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS) with a project exploring the potential for a single design system for the public sector. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been diving deep into user research for our design system for Wales project.

We’ve conducted various interviews (27 to be exact!), with over 30 people from 19 different organisations across Wales. That’s a lot of ground covered in such a short time. 

The insights we’ve gathered are invaluable to contextualise the discovery work, and there’s still more to come. We’re finalising some additional interviews over the coming weeks, but so far, we’ve chatted with individuals for 45 minutes, some conversations extended even longer, and we even connected with entire teams and departments. From individuals to large groups, we’ve covered a vast range of roles and industries within Wales. 

Geographically, we’ve spoken with people right across Wales and in all corners, to make sure we gather a thorough understanding of the demographics of design system users across a variety of public sector organisations. 

Something that has transpired strongly from the interviews to date is the lack of awareness and confidence around what a design system is, what it should include and how it could improve operational delivery of digital services. The biggest question at the front of my mind is; how we can bridge the gap to meet the needs of those who design systems and the users who interact with them? 

Throughout this project, my perspective on what a design system is, and its future within Wales, has evolved. As a graphic designer who prioritises visual storytelling, I created personas to better understand the key themes and conversations we’ve been encountering. These aren’t your typical, loosely defined personas – these are informed based on the insightful conversations we’ve had with real people and organisations. 

Let’s meet a few of the personas: 

Kevin: An IT manager in a Welsh Local Authority.

Kevin wants to improve the citizen journey and speed up design development within his small team. However, he lacks knowledge about design systems and where even to begin. His story highlights the low confidence level and limited awareness of a design system. 

Laura: A content designer for the NHS.

Laura strives to maintain a user-friendly website, but she’s unsure where to find the right guidance. She might pull concepts from various design systems, confusing which official standards to adhere to (e.g. Welsh NHS vs. Gov.UK). 

Paul: A digital manager for a Welsh Government Organisation.

Paul and his team have created their own design system while also working with existing standards like GDS. He seeks further support from the Welsh Government on GDS implementation and desires clearer guidance on Welsh accessibility standards. Paul’s story highlights the need for better integration and consistent information. 

These personas capture the essence of the conversations we’ve had with multiple people across various organisations. They’re built on a foundation of real-world interactions to establish a clear understanding of our user base. We might even develop a few more to ensure comprehensive coverage. 

However, we haven’t finished yet! We’ll be using these personas to shape the recommendations for the future of a Welsh design system, ensuring it caters to the diverse needs of our users in Wales. 

Share this post: