The Persona Lifecycle

1st Edition

Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design

Print ISBN: 9780125662512
eBook ISBN: 9780080455730
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 24th April 2006
Page Count: 744
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If you design and develop products for people, this book is for you. The Persona Lifecycle addresses the “how” of creating effective personas and using those personas to design products that people love. It doesn’t just describe the value of personas; it offers detailed techniques and tools related to planning, creating, communicating, and using personas to create great product designs. Moreover, it provides rich examples, samples, and illustrations to imitate and model. Perhaps most importantly, it positions personas not as a panacea, but as a method used to complement other user-centered design (UCD) techniques including scenario-based design, cognitive walkthroughs and user testing.

John Pruitt is the User Research Manager for the Tablet & Mobile PC Division at Microsoft Corporation. Tamara Adlin is a Customer Experience Manager at For the past six years, John and Tamara have been researching and using personas, leading workshops, and teaching courses at professional conferences and universities. They developed the Persona Lifecycle model to communicate the value and practical application of personas to product design and development professionals.

Key Features


  • Presentation and discussion of the complete lifecycle of personas, to guide the designer at each stage of product development.
  • A running case study with rich examples and samples that demonstrate how personas can be used in building a product end-to-end.
  • Recommended best practices in techniques, tools, and innovative methods.
  • Hundreds of relevant stories, commentary, opinions, and case studies from user experience professionals across a variety of domains and industries.


User-Centered Design (UCD)professionals, including usability practitioners, interaction designers; technical writers, and program managers, as well as programmers/developers who act as the interaction designers for software--or those professionals who work with developers and designers.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – The Next Frontier for User-Centered Design: Making User Representations More Usable Chapter 2 – The Persona Lifecycle: A framework for the persona approach Chapter 3 – Phase 1: Family Planning (planning a persona effort) Chapter 4 – Phase 2: Conception & Gestation (creating personas) Chapter 5 – Phase 3: Birth & Maturation (launching and communicating personas) Chapter 6 – Phase 4: Adulthood (using personas) Chapter 7 – Phase 5: Lifetime Achievement and Retirement (ROI and reuse of personas)

Contributed Chapters: Chapter 8 – Users, roles and personas (by Larry Constantine) Chapter 9 - Storytelling and narrative (by Whitney Quesenbery) Chapter 10 - Reality and Design Maps (by Tamara Adlin & Holly Jamesen) Chapter 11 - Marketing versus design personas (by Bob Barlow-Busch) Chapter 12 – Why personas work: The psychological evidence (by Jonathan Grudin) Appendix A- Example Personas Appendix B- Sample Image Release Form References Contributor Index Index


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© Morgan Kaufmann 2006
Morgan Kaufmann
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"Personas personified. The definitive word on why personas are better than people in guiding your designs. Filled with case histories, sidebars, and helpful, useful guidelines as well as deep, penetrating analyses. A big book, and for reason. This book is unique in that it is truly for everyone: the practitioner, the researcher, and the teacher. Did I say this was essential reading? Well, it is: if you use personas, if you have thought about using them, if you don't even know what they are, this is the book for you." - Don Norman, author of Emotional Design and The Design of Everyday Things "Personas are powerful design tools, which are that much more dangerous if they are grounded in weak methodology. Pruitt and Adlin show you how to do personas right and how to base them on real user data. Follow their advice or risk disaster." Jakob Nielsen, author of Usability Engineering and Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity