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Personas: Explorations in Developing a Deep and Dimensioned Character

“If we are going to begin to address these issues, we need to get at the root of the problem—our empathetic understanding of our users. Having empathy for users and understanding their needs doesn’t come from reading words on a page. It doesn’t come from statistical analysis of demographics either. It comes from truly embodying and experiencing the character of a persona, so it becomes ingrained emotionally and physically in our memories. Actors understand this. From the time Stanislavski began teaching Method Acting – a process of transformation in which actors begin to take on the true nature of a character – actors have referred to this moment when they realize a character’s emotional memory and have truly become the character as the moment of embodiment.” (Traci Lepore ~ UXmatters)

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)

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)

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

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 – courtesy of jjursa

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