Personas (was Re: Powerpoint vs. "regular" slide s)

25 Jan 2005 - 4:21pm
407 reads
Robert Reimann
2003

Andrei wrote:

> I have no earthly idea how a document created from research that
> shouldn't be more than a simple set of notes can translate into a
> measure of success, unless that document is somehow more than a
> research tool. And that's the problem in my eyes.

Andrei, it sounds like you have many preconceptions about what
personas are and/or should be. As a means of user modeling, personas
(at least the way we conceived of them at Cooper) were intended
to be a tool that connected research directly to design. But personas
form only a part of the toolset needed to do this successfully.
The other tools needed include scenarios, which take personas as
and step them through high-level, and later, detailed
interactions with a product design. Also necessary are a solid set
of interaction design principles and/or patterns to apply to the design
problems that arise as a result of exploration achieved in the scenarios.
Finally, an iterative design process, which provides a top-down
direction for interaction and visual refinement of the design, based
on needs uncovered (via use of personas/scenarios) at each level of
design detail, is also part of the toolset.

Within this process/toolset, personas, at each level of design
iteration, act as both a generator of design requirements, and a
reference point against which solutions can be tested (does the
solution satisfy or dissatisfy the persona, based on our knowledge
of their goals?). This is how personas can help measure design
success. Used outside of this framework, personas are of
limited utility.

I hope this clarifies my claims a little.

Robert.

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Robert Reimann
Manager, User Interface Design

Bose Corporation
The Mountain
Framingham, MA 01701

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