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Personas

The most powerful tools are always simple in concept, but they often must be applied with some sophistication. That is certainly true of interaction design tools. Our most effective tool is profoundly simple: Develop a precise description of our user and what he wishes to accomplish. The sophistication comes from how we determine and use that precise description.

The most obvious approach—to find the actual user and ask him—doesn't work for a number of reasons, but the main one is that merely being the victim of a particular problem doesn't automatically bestow on one the power to see its solution. The actual user is still a valuable resource, and we devote considerable attention to him or her, but we never let the user directly affect the solution.


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