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11

Personas a la Microsoft

In the article Personas: Practice and Theory, John Pruitt and Jonathan Grundin share their experience gained by using personas in two Microsoft projects. They describe and illustrate their use of personas and outline a psychological theory that explains why personas are more engaging than other methods that tries to explore users' needs.

According to the authors, personas is a powerful complement to other usability methods, which can help a team focus attention on its target audience and their work context. It can aid in design and development decisions, and make assumptions about the target audience and decision-making criteria more explicit.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - June 02, 2004

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12

Toolkit for creating personas

George Olsen has developed a persona toolkit, which can help you build detailed profiles of users, their relations to a product (e.g. a website), and the context in which they use a product. The toolkit is pretty extensive, but intended to be based on a pick-and-choose approach.

George Olsen also gives advice on how to collect information. Ideally, personas should be based on interviewing and direct observation, but you can also get useful information from alternative sources, such as domain experts, research, and artefacts that reveal information about the users' context.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - April 04, 2004

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See also: Tools (106) 


 

13

Personas and the customer decision-making process

The Q3 2003 issue of GUUUI features a case study showing how the use of personas can help us capture the nature of online customers and design for their needs and concerns, as they progress through the customer decision-making process.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - July 01, 2003

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See also: Cases and Examples (28) 


 

14

Personas according to Kim Goodwin

Personas are sets of representative user archetypes we can use to help guide us in design decisions. Director of Design at Cooper, Kim Goodwin, has written two excellent articles on what personas are and how to create them.

Some highlights:
- Start with the right kind of research, such as observations and interviews of users
- Focus on the information that is critical for design, such as workflow, behaviour patterns, goals, environment, and attitudes of the persona
- Avoid false precision, which has no evidence in your research - Keep your personas to the minimum number required to illustrate key goals and behaviour patterns
- Add life to personas and describe them in narrative form, but don't get caught up in personal details

Links:

  • Perfecting Your Personas Open link in new window
  • Getting from Research to Personas: Harnessing the Power of Data Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 16, 2003

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15

User research techniques in comic book form

Dan Willis has created a condensed overview of some of the core techniques used in information architecture. The descriptions are in a comic book form and serve as entertaining reminders of some of our development options. Willis one-pagers cover sitepath diagramming, topic mapping, free listing, card sorting, and personas.

Links:

  • IA Classics: Tools of the Trade in Comic Book Form Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 28, 2003 - via Usability Views

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See also: Site and flow diagramming (6)  Posters (5)  Card sorting (13)  The design process (24)  Usability testing (68) 


 

16

Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web

In the introduction, Christina Wodtke claims that her book on IA isn't for people doing IA for a living since "most of it will probably be old hat." It might be true, that her book won't make a revolution for the IA field, but it is very enlightening to read about Wodtke's practical use of the techniques and principles of IA. And there's no armchair theory here. Everything is backed up by cases, examples, and practical advice on how to make everything work in the real world.

The book concentrates on traditional IA practices, such as:
- User research
- Organising content
- Card sorting
- Personas, scenarios and task analysis
- Site and flow diagramming
- Wireframing and storyboarding

At the end of the book, you'll also find some she-devil tricks on how to persuade you boss and co-workers to do things your way. Highly revealing - my girlfriend is never going to fool me again.

Links:

  • The book at amazon.com Open link in new window
  • The book at amazon.co.uk Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 14, 2002

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See also: Books (47)  Site and flow diagramming (6)  Card sorting (13)  The design process (24)  User research (23)  Usability testing (68)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 


 

17

Personas as real people representatives

In this article Jonathan Grudin and John Pruitt discuss the concept of personas and scenarios. While Alan Cooper's personas are based on anecdotes and on appeals to reason, the authors argue for a more realistic approach. Personas should be based on real people and evolve in response to field studies, focus groups, interviews, observation, usability studies, and so on. This way, personas turn into a powerful means of communicating feedback from real people to the design team.

In their opinion, paticipatory design, which Grudin has been advocating for many years, is less effective in commercial mass-market product development, because finding representative participants is a challenge. But personas can bring the same level of engagement with users, empathy, and commitment to mass-market development projects.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - August 15, 2002

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18

Personas: Matching a Design to the Users' goals

By trying to satisfy the needs of all users, designers often fail to satisfy the needs of any one user. The concept of personas - originally developed by Alan Cooper - suggests that we should rather focus on the unique goals of one archetypal user profile synthesized from a series of interviews with real people. By adhering to the goals of a specific persona, we develop a product that satisfies the needs of the many.

This article from UIE gives a short introduction to the approach.

Links:

  • The article Personas: Matching a Design to the Users' goals Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 02, 2002

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19

Usability Toolkit

InfoDesign has a section with a lot of free usability toolkit materials including descriptions of usability techniques and downloadable tools such as guidelines, check lists, examples and software.

Links:

  • The toolkit at InfoDesign.com Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 09, 2002

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See also: Tools (106)  Expert reviews (11)  Card sorting (13)  User research (23)  Usability testing (68)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 


 
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