Saul Greenberg

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Personas are detailed descriptions that reflects a particular user archetype. Personas are ideally constructed from real-world date of real-world users, where each persona represents a particular class of user. A persona then acts as a surrogate to design, where the design team uses one or more personas to motivate particular design decisions and to enact actual use of the system as a walkthrough.

Powerpoint lectures

  • Personas introduces the persona as a surrogate user that you can design for

Topics Covered

  • The 'elastic user' is problematic
  • Good design requires making the user real
  • Personas define ‘real’ archetype users
  • Examples

Suggested Readings

  1. The Inmates are Running the Asylum. Cooper, A. (1999) Sams (Macmillan). Excerpt: Chapter 9: Designing for Pleasure.
    • Introduces goal-centered system design and how one can use Personas to influence design. Chapter 11 also relates to this topic.

In-Class Activities

I ask students to construct and present a persona that motivates their project. Each project description is introduced by that persona, so that questions about their interface design result from how well their design matches the persona.

Additional Readings

  1. About Face 3. Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann & David Cronin. Wiley Publishing, 2007.
  2. The Persona Lifecycle. John Pruitt and Tamara Adlin. Morgan Kaufmann (Elsevier), 2006
    • Everything you wanted to know about personas, and perhaps a bit more.