Designers can create great user experiences that are custom tailored to people who are unlike themselves by gaining an insight into its users through personas. Personas should be come living, breathing characters that are used as a reference point in understanding your users. I came across a couple of very good articles this month on smashingmagazine.com that really are worth a read. They discuss and outline the fundamentals of personas, what they are, the history behind them and how to effectively create and use them. Although there is no right or wrong way to create a user persona document, there are a few essential elements needed. An effective persona document that communicates a model of users to others typically consists of the following:
- descriptive title,
- a day-in-the-life narrative,
- end goals (explicit and tacit).
Granted, not even the most disciplined user-centered and goal-directed designer like myself can be completely unbiased. As professionals, we all use our best judgment to make decisions (based on knowledge of the field, knowledge of competitive markets and work experience), but some people’s perspective is more self-centered than others. Personas help to keep a designer honest and to become mindful of when they are truly designing for others and when they are just designing for themselves!
Read the full articles here…