Copyright by Kim Goodwin

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Chapter 11. Personas

Personas

I often speak with people who tell me they have a good understanding of their users, but are puzzled because they can't seem to agree on what the product should be or do. In order for your efforts as a designer to succeed, you must ensure that every member of the product team understands at least the fundamental characteristics and needs of your customers and users, or you'll spend a lot of time talking in circles. The research methods described earlier in the book will help you gather the right information; personas will help you determine what that data means, convey that meaning to product team members in a compelling and memorable way, make better design decisions, and build consensus around a direction.

Definition and Uses

Personas are archetypes that describe the various goals and observed behavior patterns among your potential users and customers. In the terms introduced in Chapter 10, personas are a specialized type of composite model resulting from cross-case analysis, using primarily inductive reasoning. A persona encapsulates and explains the most critical behavioral data in a way that designers and stakeholders can understand, remember, and relate to. Unlike simple lists of findings or other types of models, personas use storytelling to engage the social and emotional aspects of our brains, which helps each team member either visualize the best product ...

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