Persona

  • Research Methods
  • Qualitative
  • Reporting UX

A Persona is a general representation of one type of user or target user for a system. They should contain relevant characteristics, tasks they need to perform, and goals or needs they are trying to meet. Personas help keep the design and development process user-centered by reminding teams who they are creating the product for. Although researchers can start with hypotheses about target users (Proto-Personas), personas should be based on user research to bring benefit to product teams.

For use in user experience and business, qualitative methods to build personas are recommended with supporting data from quantitative methods. Data driven personas may be more appropriate for scientific studies however.ref

Benefits

  • By providing an easily shared vision for each user archetype, personas serve to remind product teams of who they are designing for.
  • Personas work well to share key insights gained from performing user research to the rest of the organization.
  • Solutions that are proposed can be compared to needs defined in personas to guide the team.
  • Personas can help build empathy by reminding teams of real user needs, goals, and interests.
  • What Should Be in a Persona? - Deliverable UX

  • The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity by Alan Cooper

    The Inmates are Running the Asylum argues that, despite appearances, business executives are simply not the ones in control of the high-tech industry. They have inadvertently put programmers and engineers in charge, leading to products and processes that waste huge amounts of money, squander customer loyalty, and erode competitive advantage. They have let the inmates run the asylum. Alan Cooper offers a provocative, insightful and entertaining explanation of how talented people continuously design bad software-based products. More importantly, he uses his own work with companies big and small to show how to harness those talents to create products that will both thrill their users and grow the bottom line.

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