A persona is a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. They are incredibly useful tools in user-centered design, marketing, and other disciplines focusing on customers or “users”, and they are particularly useful during ideation activities for new products and services as they allow for the extrapolation of user preferences to inform attributes, thereby removing some of the ambiguity inherent in new product design.
Male contraception is an especially ripe field of product design for persona generation and application given the lack of additional methods to date coupled with decades of knowledge around experiences with female methods. As we have seen with women’s experiences with contraception, it is safe to assume that men’s interests in their methods will evolve over time. Therefore, it is critical to develop a robust mix of methods that meet these evolving needs and interests.
Male Contraception & Personas
Male Contraception “Users”
Male contraception also presents an interesting opportunity for persona generation and use given its universal applicability and value: everyone benefits from new contraceptive methods. It is also a unique use case for personas given the expanded understanding of genders in our increasingly non-binary world. Egg- and sperm-producers can utilize new male methods to better manage their family planning needs. As we work towards creating a world with reproductive autonomy for all, it is critically important that the design of new contraceptive methods take into consideration as many users, beneficiaries, and intermediaries as possible:
Male Contraception Persona Stakeholder Groups
Men's Reproductive Journey
Again, similar to women’s experiences, MCI anticipates that men’s interests and needs with respect to contraceptive preferences will evolve over the course of their lives. Lived experiences will influence choice: for example, a man aged 55 who already has children will have drastically different needs than an 18-year-old just starting their reproductive journey. As such, we have endeavored to articulate the various stages of a man’s reproductive experience in order to better speculate the different personas that represent future users of male contraceptives, as well as the beneficiaries and intermediaries present in each phase:
Male Contraception Persona Life Stages
Meet the Personas
With all of this in mind, the MCI team set out to develop a robust set of personas reflective of the different opinions, needs, interests, and desires of the real world individuals that we engage with on a daily basis, as well as those captured by research data. With this activity, we endeavor to illustrate and personify the multitude of perspectives that need to be taken into consideration when developing the next generation of male contraceptives. This helps to make the case for avoiding the trap of attempting to design a “one size fits all” method, and rather to identify and design for the unique needs and interests of specific stakeholder groups. In this way, we can better ensure that the final products resonate with people while increasing their uptake and use.
In an effort to capture the evolving ecosystem of male contraception users, beneficiaries, and intermediaries, we grouped them by life stage:
Read the individual persona profiles by clicking the button below:
Personas are fantastic tools for developing a sense of empathy for the diverse stakeholder groups and their respective needs. They allow the researchers working on the next generation of contraceptives to take a step into the shoes, so to speak, of different users to view male contraception through their individual, unique lenses and ideate around potential products, product attributes, delivery mechanisms, duration of action, and a whole host of other characteristics inherent to the contraceptive ecosystem.
In order to assist people in utilizing these personas, we created a series of activities and games to help bring them to life. These are not limited to the research community either: anyone interested in sexual education, family planning, and contraception could find value in exploring them. We encourage you to check out the personas, try out the activities, and reach out to us with any suggestions on how we can improve them.
Check out the persona games and activities by clicking the button below: