The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Thursday, 20 November 2003]

Method acting site design

We’ve all been there: you go to a site, and figuring out how to accomplish the task you’ve set yourself, be it finding the menu for a restaurant, or a way to check how many minutes you’ve used on your cell phone, has you swearing at the site designers.

According to this article, one of the big problems in web design is a focus on technology, rather than users (witness the unspeakable stupidity of 99.99% of all Flash intros you’ve ever seen). One way to solve this is what the article calls “persona-based design.” Essentially, when creating a site, you do research to figure out who your target audience is, then create personas that fit the target and involve them in the design from the get-go. These personas are employees with, one would suppose, a talent for psychology and acting. Out the other end comes user-centric design.

This sort of methodology is nothing new in and of itself. Talented communicators have always done something similar on an instinctive level, but it’s interesting to see it spelled out and codified. It’s an idea that makes a lot of sense.

Music: You Keep Me Hangin’ On by Kim Wilde

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