In this article by Tina Calabria, you’ll learn about the use of personnas (archetypal representations of typical user types) in usability testing. According to Calabria, “Personas allow you to identify and communicate user needs efficiently and effectively. By developing ‘stand in’ users, based on real user data, the design team can concentrate on designing for these archetypal users with the confidence that the needs of the broader user base will be meet.”

“Understanding the needs of users is one of the most critical success factors for any intranet or website project,” Calabria says. “Understanding these needs in a rapid fashion has arisen as project timelines have shortened and the pressure has mounted to deliver value early and often.”

“Personas are a useful tool to use throughout the project,” Calabria says, “from deciding upon the functionality to include in a release to evaluating the end product. Teamed up with other user-centred design tools and techniques, such as task analysis and usability testing, personas will place you in good stead to deliver a useful and usable solution.”

Read the article.