Personas is a technique for software projects, that helps you focusing and sharpen your goals. It was introduced by Alan Cooper in his book "The inmates are running the asylum"
Each Persona represents a group of users, which have similar needs to the software, and similar goals they have to fulfill.
Some principles about Personas:
- The less personas, the better. If we happen to have only one persona, it is possible (though not easy) to fulfill all of his or her needs. As soon as we do have several personas, compromises are necessary.
- Since doing Layouts is something that takes several steps, and can be done for several media, reducing on one persona is not possible.
- If necessary, it is possible to modify / update the personas during the development process.
- Personas can have individual attributes, which makes it easier to identify with them.
Personas are a perfect base to write usecases. If you happen to have a usecase, witch does fit none of your personas, then you should either throw away your usecase, or change the personas.
Personas help you to discuss priorities. If you have some bugs to solve or feature requests, it is hard to know which one is more important. With personas, the question ist: What is more important for who?
Working with personas can be motivating. There are software projects, where the developers put a picture of the personas on their desk. It helps focusing, for whom one is doing the work (Yes, i still do need some pictures for our personas).
Among the "Users" of Scribus we have identified five Personas: