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Choose Tasks

We have already mentioned that you can create several scenarios that illustrate your personas accomplishing a variety of goals or tasks. How do you choose these tasks, and what should they look like? These tasks will come from your initial task analysis and will be enriched by later observations and interviews with real customers. The tasks in your scenarios should be detailed, providing specifics about the customers and the situations. Remember that a task description does not say how it is accomplished.

The tasks in your scenarios should also be representative; that is, they should be real tasks that customers or prospective customers currently or eventually want to accomplish. You might say, “I'm inventing something new; nobody has ever done the tasks my site will allow!” Your site might allow someone to do things in a new way, but it is quite rare to invent something entirely new. For example, before sites like evite.com, you could not use a Web site to invite your friends to a party and check on their RSVPs. But the task itself is not new. People had parties before the Web was created, and they needed to invite people and see who was coming. Instead of a Web site, they used letters, phone calls, and even e-mail to accomplish the same task.


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