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Personas and Mental Models - James Kalbach

Communicating user research effectively is critical for user-centred design. This full-day course has two parts that show how to bring your research to life:

Part 1: Personas - Personas have become a mainstream design tool. There’s even a growing body of literature on the subject, including two full-length books. But there are also misconceptions and misuses of personas in the field.

This course will begin by outline the importance and the use of personas. You will then be presented a simplified technique for consistently creating a balanced set of personas that is relevant to your business needs. You will learn:

  • About the history and application of personas

  • How to segment personas along the most important aspects of your target groups

  • How to write effective persona documents

  • How to use personas effectively in daily work


Part 2: Mental Models - The term “mental models” means different things to different people. In this workshop, we use the term broadly to refer to any technique used to understand the behavioural, cognitive, and emotional states of users.

You will learn about some of the leading tools to both capture and reflect mental models, including:

  • Scenarios: These are written descriptions of users’ actions and thoughts used to envision an ideal future.

  • Behaviour Models: Based on a phased approach of understanding user behaviour, you’ll effectively map features and requirements to user needs.

  • Alignment Diagrams: This is a particular methodology pioneered by Indi Young in her book of the same name. You’ll learn how to create these diagrams and use them in your work.


Who should attend:

Usability and user experience consultans, information architects, web designers, product managers, market managers, webmasters and others who are concerning about websites.


This workshop complements Workshop II, but can be taken individually.

Schedule May 20, 2009

8:30-9:00 AM
Registration and Coffee
9:00-12:30 AM
Workshop with one break
12:30-1:30 PM
Lunch
1:30-5:00 PM
Workshop with one break


James Kalbach is the author of the best-selling book Designing Web Navigation (O’Reilly, 2007)
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