Developing User Personas to Aid in the Design of a User-Centered Natural Product-Drug Interaction Information Resource for Researchers


Pharmacokinetic interactions between natural products and conventional drugs can adversely impact patient outcomes. These complex interactions present unique challenges that require clear communication to researchers. We are creating a public information portal to facilitate researchers’ access to credible evidence about these interactions. As part of a user-centered design process, three types of intended researchers were surveyed: drug-drug interaction scientists, clinical pharmacists, and drug compendium editors. Of the 23 invited researchers, 17 completed the survey. The researchers suggested a number of specific requirements for a natural product-drug interaction information resource, including specific information about a given interaction, the potential to cause adverse effects, and the clinical importance. Results were used to develop user personas that provided the development team with a concise and memorable way to represent information needs of the three main researcher types and a common basis for communicating the design’s rationale.