I think passion is a real issue with personas. Personas might elicit
empathy with the people you design for, but they don’t elicit passion.
Passion comes from having a stake, having a long-term commitment.
Passion is what gets you that last 10% to make something great.
Designers designing for themselves are often passionate.
So I think focusing on personas is actually a red herring. If you’re
doing research and learning about your users, then it doesn’t matter if
you create personas or some other research construct. Whatever works
for you. What is really important is having passion for what you’re
doing and putting all of your energy into it. If you are a designer and
you’re not a potential user of what you’re designing, you have a higher
hill to climb. Better get started now.
Personas may or may not be necessary in your project. It depends on
the group of people you’re designing with. If you can’t communicate
what you need to without personas, then consider using them. If you
can’t get into the right mindset, consider using them. If you do end up
creating a persona to get yourself into the right mindset or to
communicate better with others, great! But that doesn’t mean it’s the
right process for other designers and it doesn’t mean that someone
else’s personas are right or wrong. Stop defending turf you don’t need
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