via insight

"In today's complex and fast moving world, what we need more than foresight or hindsight is insight."

BrandView Communications is a consultancy founded by Laura McGowan Fry.  Laura is a customer insights professional who specializes in digital strategy, ux testing, and market research.

10 Reasons Why I Still Believe in Persona Based Design

Persona based digital design continues to go in and out of vogue.  Three years ago I found myself needing to defend persona based design - critics claiming persona based design had gone out of vogue.  So, I compiled a list of key reasons why I support the process.  

I find that today it is needed more now than ever and thought it would be a good time to revisit my "top 10 list."    Please see my post below:  

Despite its fluctuating popularity, I have remained a steadfast true believer. I find web development that incorporates representatives from a variety of disciplines (e.g., digital research, strategic planning, information architecture, design, development, and account services) invaluable.

Below you will find ten reasons why I am still an advocate of persona based design and development. Persona based design:       

  1. Focuses on the user. Plain and simple.

  2. Brings the user to life. The carefully crafted persona becomes someone with clear wants, needs, and digital capabilities.

  3. Fosters team based design bringing the left and right brains together.

  4. Brings unique perspectives to the design process.

  5. Marries data driven design with the “cool” factor.

  6. Gives all core team members equal footing in the design process.

  7. Streamlines user needs into a critical few.

  8. Mitigates team and client/agency conflict when prioritizing site needs.

  9. Focuses on the user not external forces when prioritizing site features and functionality.

  10. Provides developers with a clearer understanding of the unique qualities of primary and secondary audiences.

Several years ago I attended a usability workshop held at Nielsen Norman Group’s annual conference. The course instructors were John Pruitt (Microsoft) and Tamara Adlin ( It was fantastic. The course reviewed how best to take quantitative and qualitative research along with creative insights to create personas that are based on sound data and creative pizzazz.

Soon after completing the course, their book, The Persona Lifecycle: Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design (2006), was published. It quickly became a staple on the bookshelves of UX specialists worldwide. It is available on Amazon if you are interested in purchasing it for your personal library.