Z515 Spring 2015

I can’t wait to not make a persona

That’s not a dig against this class, or any of the others I’ve taken in my time here. Again and again we’re pressed into making a persona, but at the core of it I simply wonder: why? We hear how personas give us a target example to base our decisions off of, or that they humanize the problem in order to give us a bit of empathy.

Bah I say – why does the problem need humanizing? Shouldn’t that be there from the outset? To me in many ways Personas seem like a stop gap measure. A last ditch attempt to try to validate your work when what you know you really should be doing is talking to real people. Wouldn’t that 15 minute discussion with your audience humanize and allow you to empathize with the problem a hell of a lot better than a one page summary of an imaginary person’s life – no matter how detailed or well done?

Of course, one of the keys about personas is that they’re meant to be created through actual research, a sort of amalgamation of all of the efforts of the investigative team up until that point. And yes, that hasn’t really happened at my time here – there’s always an issue of time, and thus the personas get made instead of research. Ideally they should be both. But then if you’ve done the research, why even create this sort of lifeless homunculus? You already know who you’re dealing with.

I’m not sure. I just feel that no matter how objective or clever you are with personas, you’re never going to get outside of yourself, your beliefs, and all of your predispositions. Personas just aren’t going to cut it.

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This entry was written by Zan and published on February 16, 2015 at 3:48 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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