All posts about

Beyond Fake Personas

“(…) if personas are fictional, how do you tell when a persona is fake? This great question highlights concerns about persona quality, validity, and usefulness that our clients often raise and that many persona thought leaders have addressed.” (Angela QuailPersona Creation)

The Persona Non Grata article is a gift. Really.

“Here’s the deal… he’s got a great point, and I actually kinda furiously like the article because it reflects what annoys me about persona efforts (not personas themselves).” (Tamara AdlinCorporate Underpants) – courtesy of marrijeschaake

Personas: Good Enough for Moses, Good Enough for Me

“These are personas that orbit a single objective and the ways in which people might accomplish that objective is defined in the personas. Writing it down now, it seems self-evident, but my personas have never been framed this way. Instead, typical personas identify user objectives and the product’s requirements must support those objectives. To apply this to a specific example, take online banking. What would objectives look like if not defined by the target audience but instead by the business?” (Dan BrownGreenonions) – courtesy of livialabate

Personas and the Role of Design Documentation

“In User Experience Design circles, personas have become part of our established orthodoxy. And, as with anything orthodox, some people disagree on what personas are and the value they bring to design, and some reject the doctrine entirely.” (Andrew HintonBoxes and Arrows)

Personas and the Advantage of Designing for Yourself

“I think passion is a real issue with personas. Personas might elicit empathy with the people you design for, but they don’t elicit passion. Passion comes from having a stake, having a long-term commitment. Passion is what gets you that last 10% to make something great. Designers designing for themselves are often passionate. It’s hard to do as a freelancer or consultant.” (Joshua PorterBokardo)

Personas Suck

“(…) if you’re building a site for a group of web designers, you probably don’t need personas, whereas if you’re building a site for a group of doctors, they could come in handy.” (Andy Budd)

Building a Data-Backed Persona

“Incorporating the voice of the user into user experience design by using personas in the design process is no longer the latest and greatest new practice. Everyone is doing it these days, and with good reason. Using personas in the design process helps focus the design team’s attention and efforts on the needs and challenges of realistic users, which in turn helps the team develop a more usable finished design. While completely imaginary personas will do, it seems only logical that personas based upon real user data will do better. Web analytics can provide a helpful starting point to generate data-backed personas; this article presents an informal 5-step process for building a ‘persona of the people’.” (Andrea WigginsBoxes and Arrows)

Ten Steps to Personas

“Any project that uses personas does not necessarily need to follow all 10 steps as long as the responsible party knows the consequences of skipping a step.” (Lene Nielsen – HCI Vistas)

Looking Back on Data-Driven Design Research Personas

“The primary goal of the tutorial was to show people how to work data into developing personas and how they can be used for more than just design.” (Todd Zaki Warfel)

Everything and the Kitchen Sink

Book review on ‘The Persona Lifecycle‘ (Pruit and Adlin 2006) – “Pruit and Adlin use the lifecycle as a metaphor to frame the different stages personas go through, from birth to retirement. To highlight their process, a fictional case study runs throughout the book tying everything together. Because design doesn’t happen in a vacuum, the authors talk about how to ease the adoption and communication of personas at different levels of your organization. In fact, the book covers the two most important facets of personas: making them and getting them used.” (Austin Govella – Boxes and Arrows)

Personas and Storytelling

“Personas work because they tell stories. Stories are part of every community. They communicate culture, organize and transmit information. Most importantly, they spark the imagination as you explore new ideas. They can ignite action.” (Whitney Quesenbery) – courtesy of craig marion

Winning Against Linux The Smart Way

Including related podcast – “Tune in to learn about how to proactively and effectively sell to Linux users in the mid-market space. We’ve recently completed Linux Persona market research that groups Linux users into 5 personas. Find out what each persona means and how you can use our new screening tool to profile your own customers. – (…) this tutorial will provide you with extensive interactive content that you may require as you apply the personas in the sales and marketing aspects of your business.” (Microsoft) – courtesy of slashdot

Design Improv

“A new approach to designing interactive experiences that is more empathetic to the consumer, and helps designers work effectively and creatively with their customers and user groups.” (Nathan Waterhouse)

Long Live the User (Persona): Talking with Steve Mulder

“You’ve tried it all. User personas as posters, ala Alan Cooper, hanging on the office walls. User personas as cardboard cutouts, sitting at the conference table with you and your client. User personas as glossy deliverables. As paper mâché projects. As collages, comics, mood boards, Word documents, lists, charts, and just regular conversations. Through all your attempts to bring user personas into your project, one thing remains consistent: user personas are hard to get right. And even if you get them right, they’re even more difficult to integrate into your day-to-day process.” (Liz DanzicoBoxes and Arrows)

Taking personas too far

“(…) although personas are essential design tools, we think some people may be losing sight of the fact that they’re just tools, and tools with a specific purpose, at that. Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of gold-plated hammers – unnecessarily elaborate communication about personas – and some fundamental misunderstandings about the relationships among research, personas, and scenarios.” (Kim Goodwin – Cooper newsletter)

Personas and Outrageous Software: An Interview with Alan Cooper

“I asked Alan Cooper (over a rather echoing connection) why he is outraged by bad software, and how he developed the concept of ‘personas’. I was interested to hear the ‘father of Visual Basic’ say ‘What I need is a computer that doesn’t make me feel bad and a cellphone that doesn’t make me feel stupid’.” (UXpod)

Bring Your Personas to Life!

“Method acting is just one technique to better enable user-centered design and is not intended to replace observational usability testing, but it can (and should) work in unison. For each observational user test, your actors will gain even more insights to the real world and can refine their method.” (Zef FugazBoxes and Arrows)

Personas: the podcasts

“Too busy to decide if you want to buy the book? Try the podcasts, which take you on a whirlwind tour of the book’s content. The audio comes from a Molecular webinar I did a while back. For the industrious, you can also download the PowerPoint slides used in the webinar (warning: 23MB) for the full audio/visual experience.” (Steve Mulder – Practical Personas)