Persona Grata:Welcoming users into the interaction design process

July 2, 2014

In my experience as an interaction designer I have come across many strategies and approaches to help increase the quality and consistency of my work, but none is more misunderstood or misused than the persona.

Personas have been in use since the mid ‘90s, and have gained widespread awareness within the design community. As for adoption, many say they use personas, but few designers I’ve met actually use them as a part of their core creative process. Those who do use personas often implement them infrequently.

For every designer who actually utilizes personas, I have found that there are even more who strongly oppose them—finding personas useless or even detrimental to their design work. I once felt this way, too, seeing personas as a silly distraction from the real work at hand. That all changed when I witnessed them being used properly to their full potential.

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By Shlomo Goltz
             

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