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Personas

Zombie Personas

“This is by far the nerdiest episode we ever did, so fasten your seat belts. In his session at UXcamp, Tom said: “Personas – love ’em or hate ’em – you can’t not use ’em. Either you have zombies, or you have living ones.” In this recording of his session he talks about different kinds of zombies like Mirror Personas, Undead Personas, Unicorn Personas or Stupid User Personas. He gives advice on how to avoid these fellas and how to make good use of living personas during a project. As a bonus, Tom explains why 37signals doesn’t need personas at all.” (UX Café)

Using Persona Advocates to develop user-centric intranets and portals

“Grasping complex information needs and uses can indeed be daunting. One powerful design tool, personas, can help make sense of these needs and provide a framework for building Intranets that will satisfy a variety of needs. Effectively developed and used, personas enable Intranet teams to hone in on user needs and build interfaces and user experiences that end-user audiences can and will use.” (McQueen Consulting)

Personas as User Assistance and Navigation Aids

“A lot of work goes into creating personas, and I was delighted to discover this innovative way in which the team carried forward the benefits of that work into the final product, where users could benefit from it as well. The personas also provide a rich form of user experience by portraying typical practices for effectively using the portal. I recommend that other UX designers consider applying personas in this way—initially using these user research artifacts during design, then incorporating them into products as user assistance and navigation aids.” (Mike Hughes ~ UXmatters)

The Power of Personas

“In this installment, we took somewhat detailed tour of personas. First, we covered how to make them—the processes and techniques involved in developing, validating, and maturing the personas themselves, which has a big benefit to the whole team involved in getting a much better understanding of whom the solution is being developed for. Then we discussed some different uses of personas, how not to use them, as well as how to—chiefly to gain empathy to inform what and how you build so that it makes sense for your target audience as well as a valuable communication tool to keep team members on the same page, speaking the same language, and collaborating in terms of people rather than in terms of technical or hierarchical terms.” (Dr. Charles B. Kreitzberg and Ambrose Little)

The Essence of a Successful Persona Project

“Personas are a flexible and powerful tool for user researchers. They’re also one of the most misunderstood. When done well, they ensure the team focuses on the needs and delights of their users. Like other effective user research techniques, personas deliver confidence and insights to the team. Personas help the team make important design decisions with a thorough understanding of who the users are, what they need, and when they need it.” (Jared Spool)

Real or Imaginary: The effectiveness of using personas in product design

“The use of personas as a method for communicating user requirements in collaborative design environments is well established. However, very little research has been conducted to quantify the benefits of using this technique. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of using personas.” (frontend.com)

How to Understand Your Users with Personas

“Personas are a powerful tool for helping you to better understand the needs of your users. In this comic, drawn exclusively for Think Vitamin, you’ll learn more about Personas and how they’ll revolutionize the way you design and build web sites.” (Brad Colbow – ThinkVitamin) – courtesy of jjursa

What’s My Persona? Developing a Deep and Dimensioned Character

“Designers gather data to understand the personas that represent the users for whom they are designing a user interface. This is quite similar to the way actors must develop an understanding of their characters.” (Traci LeporeUXmatters)

Personas: How does the internet see you

“In a world where fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, the computer is our indispensable but far from infallible assistant. Personas demonstrates the computer’s uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories, and computational methods of condensing our digital traces are opaque and socially ignorant.” (Aaron ZinmanMIT Media Lab)

Persona Format

“This persona format was created to organize information in the Fluid Personas. The format chosen was based on the competitive analysis of many persona examples below.” (Fluid Project Wiki) – courtesy of janjursa

Design Ethnography & Mood Maps

“The sole purpose of this exercise is to document and map the emotional states of a user so that it can guide the creation and communication of personas to stakeholders while also informing the design process itself. I’m not one for ux deliverables for their own sake, but this is one that carry’s a lot of weight and also goes a ways towards ‘traceability’ – that is, the ability to show all the real research that went into your personas.” (Will Evans) – courtesy of ppf

Nice Research on Persona Effectiveness

“The paper compares three groups; one group that is briefed with photos of personas, one which uses illustrations of the personas and the last group is briefed to with no personas, and uses aesthetic design.” – (IxDA Discussion) Intensely debated topic (again).

Real or Imaginary: The effectiveness of using personas in product design

“The use of personas as a method for communicating user requirements in collaborative design environments is well established. However, very little research has been conducted to quantify the benefits of using this technique. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of using personas. An experiment was conducted over a period of 5 weeks using students from NCAD. The results showed that, through using personas, designs with superior usability characteristics were produced. They also indicate that using personas provides a significant advantage during the research and conceptualisation stages of the design process (supporting previously unfounded claims). The study also investigated the effects of using different presentation methods to present personas and concluded that photographs worked better than illustrations, and that visual storyboards were more effective in presenting task scenarios than text only versions.” – (Frank Long – frontend.com) courtesy of jjursa

User Research for Personas and Other Audience Models

“This is not going to be an article about personas or even what distinguishes a good persona from a bad one. Instead, this article is about the ingredients we can draw on when creating audience models and some alternative ways of communicating the results of an audience analysis.” – (Steve BatyUXmatters)

One Software Doesn’t Fit All

“(…) some users get more value from software applications than others. This is because software is written from a certain user perspective. In many cases, the problems and challenges faced in making software work can be explained by the tension created when the design of software is dominated by one perspective over another. In CRM systems, for example, the sales reps who must do the work of entering data about contacts and meetings often must be bludgeoned or bribed to do so. They get little benefit from such tracking, as opposed to the VP of sales, for whom the data is a vital way to understand what is happening.” – (Dan WoodsForbes) courtesy of cooperjournal

How to Create Effective Personas for Your Projects

“Creating personas that are a reflection of real people helps us as web designers and developers to empathize with our end users and more easily consider needs, goals, and priorities that may be different than our own. These are critical skills to have since we may not be part of the target audience for the site we’re developing.” – (Ron Akanowicz – CivicActions) courtesy of jjursa

Culture and Personas Perception

“In this experiment, it is especially the holistic versus the analytic thinking and grouping in themes rather than according to taxonomies that might be in play. In connection to personas descriptions the question becomes; how different are the categories we use to perceive a description?” (Lene Nielsen – Journal of HCI Vistas)

Book Review: The User is Always Right

“(…) an entertaining and clearly written book that is also filled with great insight into the process, both qualitative, and quantitative, of creating user personas based on real research and how that can help interaction designers, product designers, and other user experience professionals make more usable and useful software.” (Will EvansThe Designer’s Review of Books)

Using Persona Advocates to develop user-centric intranets and portals

“Intranets and portals are all—or mostly—about serving and enabling users. What information do they need and what tasks must they accomplish? How will they look for information? How does it need to be organized and presented for them to understand and use it? Do users have expertise in different subject areas or varying levels of technical vocabularies? Do they need instant information gratification or will they patiently research until they explore all possibilities? Do users know what information they are seeking or do they need to be able to browse for something that will catch their eyes and provide the ‘Aha!’ experiences. Grasping complex information needs and uses can indeed be daunting. One powerful design tool, personas, can help make sense of these needs and provide a framework for building Intranets that will satisfy a variety of needs. Effectively developed and used, personas enable Intranet teams to hone in on user needs and build interfaces and user experiences that end-user audiences can and will use.” (Howard McQueen) – courtesy of jamesrobertson

Engaging Personas and Narrative Scenarios

“Personas and scenarios help designers to imagine the users and aid development of design ideas. The concept of engaging personas and narrative scenario explores personas in the light of what what it is to identify with and have empathy with a character. The concept of narrative scenarios views the narrative as aid for exploration of design ideas. Both concepts incorporate a distinction between creating, writing and reading.” (Lene Nielsen PhD thesis 2004)