All posts about

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)

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 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)

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)

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)

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

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)