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Published on July 6th, 2007 | by Rahel Bailie


Understanding the connection between persona development and business impact

When companies want to skimp in a development process, whether that be for a web application, a desktop application, a content management implementation, a usability project, or a documentation set, the first thing they’ll cut (if they even thought of it at all) is doing persona development. They’ll say it’s not important, or that it will get captured in the scenarios (if they do those), or in the use cases – and that’s if they do the types of use cases that capture user experience, not the type that simply talk about database interactions. In their book, The User Is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web, Steve Mulder and Ziv Yaar dispel all those naive notions and show how personas set a sound foundation on which to build. Skipping this step means building on what is likely an unstable foundation – and from the world of bricks and mortar, we know the steep costs associated with shoring up buildings with badly-constructed underpinnings. A great book with concrete suggestions for practitioners.

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About the Author

Rahel Anne Bailie is a synthesizer of content strategy, requirements analysis, information architecture, and content management to increase the ROI of content. She has consulted for clients in a range of industries, and on several continents, whose aim is to better leverage their content as business assets. Founder of Intentional Design, she is now the Chief Knowledge Officer of London-based Scroll. She is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, she has worked in the content business for over two decades. She is co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, and co-editor of The Language of Content Strategy, and is working on her third content strategy book,

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