Persona Development and Use, or, How to Make Imaginary People Work for You
Ward, Jennifer L.
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In the spring of 2009, the University of Washington (UW) Libraries User Experience (UX) Group embarked on a project to create personas, which are “detailed descriptions of imaginary people constructed out of well-understood, highly specified data about real people.”1 Although the Libraries regularly conducts assessments of its online services and shares the results of those efforts with staff, the UX group felt that a widely- shared understanding of the characteristics and motivations of the “Libraries' users” could be achieved through the development, marketing, and use of personas. This paper will provide an overview of personas, describe how they were created at the UW, and provide examples of how they have been used to improve our online services.