UIEtips: Perfecting Your Personas

Jared Spool

May 19th, 2011

It was crazy. The team put a lot of effort into the design changes. Great care was taken with the navigation. The content was tight. The images were relevant. But they still missed the mark.

Now the team learned from usability studies that the site wasn’t resonating with the users. They couldn’t understand why. The team incorporated all the ideas and information that the marketing team gave them. Turns out, that was the main problem.

Instead of actually conducting ethnographic interviews with users and building a design around a set of personas, the team developed a design around non-existent research and what the marketing department and executives desired. Ah, if only they created some personas first.

In today’s UIEtips, we look back at an article that Kim Goodwin wrote in 2005. It’s a classic. Everything about it still holds true to this day. Kim discusses how personas affect design and the type of goals to think about when creating personas. If you’re new to personas, this is a must read. And if you’ve been doing personas for a while, it’s a great refresher.

Read the article: Perfecting Your Personas.

Personas are just part of building better designs. The next step is to incorporate personas into scenarios. Luckily, Kim Goodwin is giving our next virtual seminar on just that – Designing with Scenarios: Putting Personas to Work. Learn more about today’s virtual seminar. (We record the seminar so if you can’t make it today, you can listen to it another
time).

Does your team create personas? How have they helped your design? Let us know your thoughts and questions below.

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