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Who are you developing for? How will they use your design? These are the important questions that user personas can answer for you. In this course, the third installment in our UX Design Techniques series, Chris Nodder will show you how to take the user data you've gathered from site visits and other interactions to build a picture of the users you care about most. These personas can help drive development and make sure your entire team is designing your product, application, or website with the same goals and customer in mind, resulting in a UX design that's coherent and focused.
The first uses for your new personas will be in the user-centered design techniques that follow this course. Ideation, scenario creation, and paper prototyping. But, personas don't stop there. As the team continues development work, they'll be making decisions about what interaction style users might prefer. Wherever the team needs to focus on who their users are, they should be referencing these personas, rather than falling back into talking about the generic user, whoever that might be.
Personas are really useful for streamlining the conversations you have as a team, during design activities and feature prioritization discussions. They make it easier to remove the personal opinions of team members from the discussion. Instead of starting a sentence with I think, you can say, our primary persona needs. Personas also serve many practical purposes. If you need to describe your target audience to anyone, you can list the top attributes of your personas. When you recruit for usability studies, you have a ready made template for the attributes you want your participants to match.
The more you start adopting these personas, the more likely it is that you'll want to move beyond your initial thumbnail sketches and start gathering more data to back up the assumption personas you created. We'll discuss that process in the next chapter.
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