SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] D. Norman: "HCD harmful? A Clarification"
Re: [Sigia-l] D. Norman: "HCD harmful? A Clarification"
On Sep 12, 2005, at 5:03 AM, Stew Dean wrote:
> Personas are great for communication and marketing - but for
> interactive design and IA work the activities (in my view including
> those that extend far beyond the interactive project) are the
> key. In short in order for someone to do task A they need
> information B. The factors that directly affect how an activity is
> carried out are vital and are what personas are supposed to provide
> but often fail to achieve.
While I agree that most personas aren't worth the paper they're
printed on, I still disagree with you (and by extension Don). Good
personas can be a tool for capturing the factors leading up to
behaviors in activities. If you jump straight to activities, you
might miss some key things, including ideas for future activities.
But I do understand where you are coming from. Designing for specific
individuals (especially made-up individuals like most designers'
personas) is as harmful as making laws for individuals. It just
doesn't scale well, and it relies too much on individual preferences,
which are varied and fickle.
I will concede that if I have limited time and little/no budget for
user research, focusing on streamlining the activites is probably the
way to go. But I'm wary of this sort of designing. I think you
probably get some really ugly and limited interfaces this way.
Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
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