In Bring Your Personas to Life!, Zef Fugaz writes: “Most user-centered design (UCD) companies create personas (profiles of representative users) to guide their designs. To do UCD, you need to get the “U” in focus right from the start. So you’ve got your persona set, all neatly defined and documented. Now what? How can you ensure the persona isn’t ‘just another deliverable?’”

Fugaz offers up guidelines for creating meaningful personas drawn from ‘Method’ acting—“a technique in which actors try to replicate the emotional conditions under which a character operates, in an effort to create a life-like, realistic performance. ‘The Method’ typically refers to the practice of actors drawing on their own emotions, memories, and experiences to influence their portrayals of characters.” According to Fugaz, your persona is a “character sketch” and has just as much value in the creation of useful technology products as it does believable characters of screen and stage.