Synthesis is the step after you gather the information, you would like to do this step before ideation since here we are going to generate personas and Journey maps. First just gather any information you have handy from the research or requirements. You and your team (if you have one) can create a board in witch you add using stick-notes the main findings, you can actually use even the music related to the main area of investigation.

A synthesis diagram showing some of the steps on the design process and where we can find synthesis amount the Requirements, research and discovery and just before Ideation.
Diagram showing some of the steps on the design process


After having all this information visible, you can star creating your persona. Personas are representations of the users or stakeholders to whom we are going to create the solution (software or service). There are several methods you can use to create them, but my personal advice is:

  • Create your a board with all the findings, photos, data, visible to everyone.
  • Follow the steps 10 Steps to personas by Lene Nielsen. You can find a summary of those steps in this blog post from the Interaction Design Foundation: Personas | The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. (
  • Create or use a template for the persona you want to create, for example:
    • Photo: If is a father you can put a picture of him with his children.
    • Catchy name: Something very useful in meetings.
    • Quote: Something your persona will definitely say and represents what he wants (main goal).
    • Personal info: Age, sex, basics.
    • Personal Profile: Tell the story.
    • Key attributes: qualities of the persona, personal concerns.
    • Domain attributes: these attributes are based on the main area of investigation.
    • Internet Usage (optional): Depends of what we measure and what we want to create, You can add here “Computer Usage”.
    • Goals: Is the motivation of the persona, what he/she want to archive.

Here is an example of a persona I made for Coursera’s Interaction Design Specialization.

Cooking Dada! a persona we created as a practice. It includes Personal profile, picture, key attributes, domain attributes, Internet Usage, goals.
Cooking Dada! a persona we created as a practice.

PDF version: persona_cookingdada.pdf

Provided text: Here is an interview conducted with a 38 year-old father with two children (ages 5 and 8) who lives in Chicago. The tech-savy father works out of his home office as a computer programmer, starting his day at 6am and finishing at 6pm. He is in charge of picking up his kids from their afterschool program and making dinner for his kids at night while his wife works the night shift at the hospital.

“I do not like making dinner midweek, I’d rather spend my time playing with the kids. I used to like cooking before I had kids and had more time to think about what to cook, could eat dinner at 9pm at night, and had friends who would be grateful for whatever I made. Now when I finish work at 6pm, I look in the refrigerator, well, I mostly look in the freezer and think, “What can I make in 10 minutes that’s somewhat healthy?” Only it never takes me 10 minutes. It takes more like 40 minutes and it’s time I would rather spend playing with the kids. I’ve got to cobble together a meal including protein, vegetables, grain, and a healthy dessert. I find myself always going back to the same old things like pasta, frozen fish sticks, and chicken nuggets, although I’m always wishing I could introduce more variety into what we eat. I don’t really plan ahead but I look to see what food in the fridge that I’ve been neglecting and might go bad and see if I can use that in some way. Usually the kids are asking me if I can play with them so it’s hard to keep my focus. And I actually would rather play with them. After awhile, they get cranky because dinner is taking much longer than I said it would take. I’ve thought about involving them in the cooking but that would just extend the amount of time it takes to get the meal ready and we are usually already running late and I have to clear the kids’ homework off the dinner table before I can set the table with silverware, plates, and a glass of water for each kid. I also have to make sure everyone washes their hands before they sit down at the table. Sometimes I can enlist the kids help in setting the table but not always. They are usually pretty hungry and not in the mood to help. They just want to start eating, but I want them to pause and say something they are grateful for. Dinner goes by in a flash. It takes no more than 10 minutes and there is usually at least one spill to clean up. After dinner, I usually have a lot of dirty dishes to clean up. I don’t mind putting the dishes into the dishwasher, but if I’ve prepared a big meal, it takes longer to clean everything up. I don’t want to just rip open a bag of something frozen and put it on a plate, but its both easier to serve and easier to clean up. Making dishes from scratch requires more dishes. While I’m doing the dishes, I ask the kids to get in their pajamas and brush their teeth, but when I get upstairs after doing dishes, they typically haven’t started doing what I ask them to do. I look at my smart phone to see what time it is – it’s 8:30pm. We are starting our bed time routine an hour later than I hope we would.”

Journey Map

According to servicedesigntools: “The customer journey map is an oriented graph that describes the journey of a user by representing the different touchpoints that characterize his interaction with the service.”

The Journey Map was actually more difficult for me, I have no steps to follow. I just read again some notes and I notice the example given in the assignment, evaluation of this map involved:

  • Touch Points / Key activities.
  • Task in each touch point.
  • Emotional responses to each activity.
  • Tools/technologies use during the activity.
  • Highlight pain points.

Here is my Journey Map, also based on the main information about the father in this assignment.

A Journey Map, it includes nice graphics with color separation and steps: Pickup kids at school, Meal preparation, Dinning time, Cleaning process and bedtime.

PDF Version: Journey Map