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Chapter 9. Designing for Pleasure > A Realistic Look at Skill Levels

A Realistic Look at Skill Levels

One of the really valuable contributions of personas is that they give discussions of skill levels a refreshing breath of realism. The scope of variation of users' skill levels is huge, and personas make that fact easy to see. The widely held, more-traditional model of user skill levels was shown as the euphemism pyramid in Chapter 2, “Cognitive Friction.” At the top of the pyramid are “power users,” assumed to be perfectly knowledgeable about computers, but lacking the training to program. The central trapezoid is “computer-literate users,” who are imagined to have a fundamental understanding of how computers work, but who don't avail themselves of all its coolest features. “Naïve users” fill the bottom of the pyramid, and they are estimated to be as dumb as a brick and completely clue free.

Here are some examples of personas that shatter the pyramid's false assumptions:


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