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CS408 Assignment#03 Solution & Discussion Spring 2011
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Cs408 3rd assignment
To create a product that must satisfy a broad audience of users, logic tells you to make it as broad in its functionality as possible to accommodate the most people. This logic, however, is flawed. The best way to successfully accommodate a variety of users is to design for specific types of individuals with specific needs.
When you broadly and arbitrarily extend a product’s functionality to include many constituencies, you increase the cognitive load and navigational overhead for all users.
Facilities that map please some users will likely interfere with the satisfaction of other.
A simple example of how personas are useful is shown in figure below, if you try to design an automobile that pleases every possible driver, you end up with a car with every possible feature, but which pleases nobody. Software today is too often designed to please to many users, resulting in low user satisfaction
Personas were introduced as a tool for user modeling, they have gained great popularity
in the usability community, but they have also been the subjects of some misunderstandings.
But by designing different cars for different people with different specific goals, as shown in figure below, we are able to create designs that other people with similar needs to our target drivers also find satisfying. The same hold true for the design of digital products and software.
The key is in choosing the right individuals to design for, ones whose needs represent the needs of a larger set of key constituents, and knowing how to prioritize design elements to address the needs of the most important users without significantly inconveniencing secondary users. Personas provide a powerful tool for understanding user needs, differentiating between different types of users, and prioritizing which users are the most important to target in the design of function and behavior.
Strengths of personas as a design tool
The persona is a powerful, multipurpose design tool that helps overcome several problems that currently plague the development of digital products. Personas help designers”
knowledge of a product’s users and typically view personas with great interest.