University Web Developers

University Web Developers

A while ago, we attended an online UIE seminar on adhoc personas presented by Tamara Adlin. Using personas seems like a great way to make sure our web site is meeting the needs of our users and for prioritizing requests.

http://www.uie.com/events/virtual_seminars/ad_hoc_personas/

However, as a community college, we are struggling to define our personas feeling like we have too many. Our college offers career degree and certificate programs, transfer programs, adult education (literacy, basic skills, etc.), ged, esl, personal enrichment (non-credit), programs for kids/youth, professional development, workforce training, small business resources, etc. all of which serve many different audiences.

Has anyone defined and used web personas for use in a web redesign project and ongoing to manage needs and priorities for their sites?

Thanks!

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Hi Carmen-
I work with many community colleges on their web redesign projects and we develop user personas as part of our process. Most of the time, we're sure to identify no more than 2 primary user personas (for community colleges this is usually a traditional-age high school student and then an adult-aged prospective student.) Many of the audiences you list could likely be dealt with as primary personas IN THEIR OWN areas of the web site (workforce training, professional development, etc.) So yes we would also develop personas for them but only use them when designing for those specific pages. You will likely have a handful of them. However, I'd caution you about the path you may be taking to identify this list. Remember that personas are based on TASKS...what is the user coming to do? What information are they seeking? (and sometimes attitude/motivation). They are not marketing segmentations.....so many times what you think will be a separate persona often times will not.
Michelle

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