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Why Create Personas?

In the user experience design process, personas help you focus on representative users. By providing insights into “real” behaviors of “real” users, personas can help resolve conflicts that arise when making design and development decisions, so you and your team can continue to make progress.

How real do personas need to be? The answer varies widely. A single persona document may be enough for one team, while another may create full “living spaces” for the user personas to deeply understand how they “live.” You could even go to the extreme of creating individual online presences that can be interacted with to provide insights into online behaviors. However you choose to extend your personas is up to you.

Personas can be constant reminders of your users. A useful technique is for your team members to keep personas in their workspaces; this way they are continually reminded of who their users are. When you share a cube with “Nicolle,” the 34-year-old certified hand therapist from West Chicago, Illinois, for a while, you begin to find yourself compelled to provide an experience that works well for her.


  

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