Personas Suck

This month’s post on is sponsored by TourDivide, a mountain bike race from Canada to Mexico. Yours truly will be a part of the documentary film crew for about 14 days of the 25-ish day race!

PS – You know the thing about Personas? They suck when you build them sans field research. Why? Because you’re not supposed:

…Recently we conducted a study of several dozen organizations who claimed to use personas. Less than 5% actually conducted field research to inform their personas. The remaining 95% just made up the descriptions from internal guesswork.

If you’re just going to guess on the personas, why bother? Just design for yourself, like the 37Signals team does.

Yeah. Build stuff for yourself. Good thing for my client I’ve spent a lot of time around CRM.

So What Did I Do?

After being assigned this project (3 user personas by June 13), I spent the next 4 hours googling to see if anyone had figured out how to shortcut the fieldwork. Because I know what I turn in sans fieldwork will be two shades better than, umm, I believe the technical term is “poop.”

PPS – Here’s why I need to quit my whining and wing persona profiles: All the developers have rubix cubes on top of their Linux-powered, dual-monitor workstations. Empathy for “Angela the admin” persona? Phooey!

Persona Resources I Surfed Today

  • Benefits of Personas
  • Making Personas More Powerful
  • My First User Persona
  • Btw, check out the video comment I left on this post…

    One thought on “Personas Suck”

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