As a student in HCI, one of the very first lessons we learn is the persona. Whom are we designing for. As the readings have strongly suggested, personas need to be based off research.
I think that the persona is useful because it summarizes the user in a way that a design team can easily reference to. As the readings mention as well, it prevents from designing for the elastic user.
I’ve done several dozen design projects and I’ve utilized personas. But I still have lingering doubts as to how useful they are throughout the course of the project. In all honesty there have been some projects where we throw together the persona near the end of the project. There has been some cases where we create the persona in the beginning and never revisit it as we are making decisions.
I am not saying that these approaches are right, but it is something that I know sometimes happen during projects.Would it be so wrong if we simply list down user needs and mental models and use that as a reference and guide throughout the project instead of using a full fledged persona?
My other question with personas is when the final deliverables are made, should we pass them on to Stakeholders and engineers. Will the persona provide further insights to them as to our rational for our design decisions? Do they even care? Should we make them care?