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Personas are used during the concept and design process to stand in as a fictional representation of a possible real user of the product. The concrete attributes, needs and characteristics of the persona help identify user needs and flows that the product needs to implement or take into consideration.

The benefits are summarized as (Cooper, 1999):

  • Help team members share a specific, consistent understanding of various audience groups. Data about the groups can be put in a proper context and can be understood and remembered in coherent stories.
  • Proposed solutions can be guided by how well they meet the needs of individual user personas. Features can be prioritized based on how well they address the needs of one or more personas.
  • Provide a human "face" so as to focus empathy on the persons represented by the demographics.

Source: Cooper, Alan. The Inmates are Running the Asylum. SAMS, 1999. ISBN 0-672-31649-8, retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persona_%28user_experience%29 2012-12-29

Questiones tagged with this tag deal with developing, using and validating personas.

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