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What is a Persona?

“The engaging perspective is rooted in the ability of stories to produce involvement and insight. Through an understanding of characters and stories, it is possible to create a vivid and realistic description of fictitious people. The purpose of the engaging perspective is to move from designers seeing the user as a stereotype with whom they are unable to identify and whose life they cannot envision, to designers actively involving themselves in the lives of the personas.”  
     — Lene Nielsen


Aurora Harley, User Experience specialist at the Nielsen Norman Group, explains that there are six common pieces of information that make up a persona:

  1. Name, age, gender, and an image of the persona, preferably including some context in the background
  2. A tag line, indicating what the persona does or considers relevant in his or her life
  3. The experience and relevant skills the persona has in the area of the product or service you will be developing
  4. Some context to indicate how he/she would interact with your product or service (e.g., the voluntariness of use, frequency of use, and preferred device)
  5. Any goals, attitudes, and concerns he/she would have when using your product or service
  6. Quotes or a brief scenario, that indicate the persona’s attitude toward the product or service you’re designing. If the persona already uses an existing product or service to meet his or her needs, you might describe the use of that here.

Author/Copyright holder: Zumio. Copyright terms and license: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

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