Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Personas

I was recently asked if I knew what "Personas" are, why you would use them, how they are effective, and why. I was honestly a little unsure, if fact I googled it thinking it had something to do with Avatars. As usual I can not just let a hot topic go unresearched, and so began my quest for knowledge. Starting with a twitter poll of who all used personas in business and why, then followed by a quick Wikipedia search, I highly recommend reading this as it was one of the most insightful resources I found. The next thing I did was read the first pdf resource from wikipedia, followed by skimming all the other resources available. I have listed them all below. as well as other resources I found on my own search that were interesting.

So, in brief what is a persona? A 1-2 page document that lists the behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and other fictional attributes and personal details to bring a hypothetical character(s) (primary and possible additional) for practical implementation in production and design of user information and sites (such as social networks). I also read a lot about ethnographic research such as the archtype user. This helps with the analysis of underlying logic, practical implementation, and empirical results. Basically makes ethnographic research makes it easier to narrow down useful user information rather then just imposing your own traits as the target audience.

  • Carroll, John M. Making Use: Scenario-Based Design of Human-Computer Interactions. MIT Press, 2000. ISBN 0-262-03279-1
  • Carroll, J.M. ed. Scenario-Based Design: Envisioning Work and Technology in System Development. Wiley, 1995. ISBN 0-471-07659-7
  • Chapman, C.N. & Milham, R. The personas' new clothes. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) 2006, San Francisco, CA. October 2006. [1]
  • Cooper, Alan. The Inmates are Running the Asylum. SAMS, 1999. ISBN 0-672-31649-8
  • Grudin, J. and Pruitt, J. Personas, participatory design and product development: an infrastructure for engagement. Paper presented at Participatory Design Conference 2002, Malmo, Sweden. June 2002.
  • Pruitt, John & Adlin, Tamara. The Persona Lifecycle : Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design. Morgan Kaufmann, 2006. ISBN 0-12-566251-3
  • Rönkkö, K. An empirical study demonstrating how different design constraints, project organization, and contexts limited the utility of personas. Hawaii

International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) 2005, Waikoloa, HI. January 2005.

1 comment:

Bren said...

Hey, also look into personas as relate to OpenID, a standard for single sign on authentication.

(this comment was posted with OpenID)

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