Articles and resources tagged “personas”

'And the award goes to…' How to avoid winning a Procrustes Award for bad UX

We're familiar with awarding prizes for excellence, from the Oscars to The International Design Awards. But what if we started giving prizes to shame bad examples of design? Enter the Procrustes Awards.

How to spend your first month in a UX research role (and stay friends with your new work colleagues)

When you start a new job as a user researcher, you need to both charm your work colleagues (so they take action on your future research findings) and challenge them (so they become more user centred). How can you best achieve this in your first 4 weeks in a new job?

Are personas past their prime?

Personas get a mixed reception from design teams, with some questioning their value. A typical criticism is that persona descriptions are superficially elegant but they lack substance. Another criticism is that persona descriptions are too 'final', and hard to update with new data. Adopting a lightweight persona description, such as the 2½D sketch, addresses these issues while retaining the strengths of traditional personas.

Evangelising user research

User experience professionals often complain that design teams fail to take action on the findings from user research. But researchers need to shoulder some of the blame: research reports are often too wordy, arrive too late and fail to engage teams with the data. Dressed-down personas, customer journey maps, photo-ethnographies, affinity diagramming, screenshot forensics and hallway evangelism provide 6 alternatives.

The 7 Deadly Sins of User Research

Most companies would claim to design products and services that are simple to use. But when you ask customers to actually use these products and services, they often find them far from simple. Why is there a disconnect between what organisations think of as "simple" and what users actually experience?

20 things you can do this year to improve your user’s experience

The new year is as good a time as any to review and improve the way you work. With a good user experience now widely seen as the key attribute of many high-tech products, it makes sense to review your own products to see how you can give them that user experience edge. Here are 20 quick, simple and virtually free ideas you can apply in 2012.

The Fable of the User-Centred Designer

Follow a young man's journey as he discovers the three secrets of user-centred design. After reading this 40-page fable, you'll understand the framework of user-centred design and know how to apply it to your own design project. It's a small book that has big results.

The 5 habits of highly effective field researchers

You may not get many chances to visit and observe your customers at their place of work, so you want to make the most of the opportunity. But what's the best way to run a site visit? Highly effective ethnographers show 5 specific behaviours. They create a focus question, audio record the sessions, take photographs of the environment, take notes and write up a short summary of the observation immediately.

Site visit interviews: from good to great

Site visits are the best method we have of gaining real insight into the way customers work — to understand what customers do, rather than what they say they do. But to get the most from a site visit you need to polish your interviewing skills. Great interviewers show five characteristics from which we can learn.

How to create personas your design team will believe in

Does your organisation use personas to describe users' characteristics, goals, needs and behaviours? Although they are a popular tool for communicating knowledge about users, many personas are little more than anecdote, hearsay and rumour. These kind of fake personas rapidly fall into disuse. Make sure your own personas get used by validating them against this 7-item checklist.

The A-Z of Usability

Rather than create yet another definition of usability, we decided to take a different approach and work through the alphabet, picking one word for each letter to capture the flavour of the field. So we proudly present the A-Z of usability — or usability in 26 words.

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