Personas

It was another good week in the Information Design class.  Part of what we covered dealt with knowing your audience, as it is hard to make decisions about how to design the information, if you don’t know who are the folks who need to know the information.

A tool used to help personalize this process, is to move beyond some simple demographics, and into personas (a social role or character):

http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_personas/index.html

http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/customer_storytelling_at_the_heart_of_business_success

Initially, these seem like some positive tools, which would be helpful for my technology area at SBU to keep in mind.  Persona representing Joe and Jane Student, Faculty, and Staff would help with knowing the audience we are trying to help.

Moving out from their use of for Information Design, personas can start becoming more problematic.  It might be one thing to think of our personal brand.  But how often can a persona become the character we are portraying?  If we play the role we think is best or most advantageous, will we forget who we are?

When it comes to being who we are, the extremes seem to be brutal honesty, or being completely hidden within a persona.  Could the world as we know handle everyone being purely themselves?  Does that mean doing what we want when wanted, with no consideration for others?  Is at least some minor forms of personas needed for a civilized society?

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~ by Neal Cross on June 8, 2010.

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