Week 7 – Personas


More Tasks!

Compare & Contrast: what assumptions might we make about audiences?

Reading Discussion
(Nate, Rebekah, Sarah – questions)

  • How can a team benefit from personas when there is no access to “real” hard-hitting evidence?
  • In a situation where there are a handful of unique personas, how does the team prioritize them?
  • How does a design team integrate personas when designing a site used by all types of users, such as for a government website?
  • What are some tactics that the designers can use to keep their own biases out of persona development?
  • What other project deliverables can use personas?
  • What are some strategies for discovering user goals that will ultimately help develop personas?
  • In the context of the Journalism Department’s site, how should we examine the users’ life goals?
  • What are effective ways to prevent self referential design?
  • What is your response to the following criticism of personas?
    “Personas are fictional and therefore there is no clear way to determine how many users are represented by any given persona. For this reason, critics have claimed that personas have no definite relationship to real customer data and therefore cannot be scientific.” (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personas)

Details for Defining Personas

  • A name (a real name like Greg or Madeline, etc.)
  • Age
  • A photo
  • Personal information, including family and home life
  • Work environment (the tools used and the conditions worked under, rather than a job description)
  • Computer proficiency and comfort level with using the Web
  • Pet peeves and technical frustrations
  • Attitudes
  • Motivation or “trigger” for using a high-tech product (not just tasks, but end results)
  • Information-seeking habits and favorite resources
  • Personal and professional goals
  • Candid quotes

Source: Alan Cooper, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity, Indianapolis: Sams, 1999, Chapter Nine. (Wording condensed and modified.)

From InfoToday

Examples & Resources:

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