Personas (was Re: Powerpoint vs. "regular" slides)
25 Jan 2005 - 2:47pm
10 years ago
Andrei was saying that Personas are not good for many reasons. But he was
implying that Personas somehow are a replacement for observation, interview,
and other forms of direct (and indirect) contact research with end-users and
Andrei, I don't quite get it. Personas don't replace research, but rather
they are one possible tool of many for modeling research. I cannot speak for
the creators and teachers of personas at all, and to be quite honest I don't
use them that much, but I have seen many different modeling techniques like
personas used by other design disciplines.
You spoke about Ind. Des. And the modeling technique I was taught from there
was photo-collage, where the designer would go and pluck pictures that they
felt represented the audience. Could be pictures of them, their fashion,
their environment (homes, offices, entertainment choices), but still to me
not that different from the narrative version of a persona.
In my mind there are many ways to model research, but you are right that
doing the research is important. I do think that many people jump into
personas w/o doing the real work. I think that the assumption of Personas is
that you did the research. Of course you can skip the research and do the
personas based off of your gut, or off of customer (not user) input, but
then it just isn't as powerful a tool.
I also think that Andrei is right in saying that Personas as a model are a
starting point for design, and don't actual directly contribute to the craft
that needs to go into the design. I know that Goal-directed design does have
steps to help with task analysis after personas, but seldom do you hear
these tasks spoken about on these lists and so it looks like "magic" happens
between personas and design.