Clearleft is a UCD, or User Centred Design consultancy. We spend time learning about the people who use our clients products, and then put those users at the heart of the design process. We do this using a variety of techniques from user surveys and contextual enquiry, through to persona creation, wireframing and usability testing. The ultimate goal of this process is to create experiences that are useful and meaningful to the people using our clients software. As a company we specialise in the architecture and design side of the equation.
Having worked with personas before the method ever came to be known as personas there are, from my research and practical experience, three important areas that have to be considered: the data material, engagement in the personas descriptions, and buy-in from the organization which is part of the development process whether it is redesign or a development from scratch. This is the rationale behind my development of 10 steps to personas, an attempt to cover the entire process from initial data gathering to ongoing development. In the following I will briefly outline the 10 steps. Any project that uses personas does not necessarily need to follow all 10 steps as long as the responsible party knows the consequences of skipping a step. Step 1: Finding the Users The initial step is to get hold of as much knowledge of the users as possible.