The origin of personas

Alan Cooper shares the background of Cooper's personas, but fails to acknowledge the considerable contributions of others to the concept. In particular, Geoffrey Moore describes very clearly the technique of archetypal users working through scenarios in 1991's Crossing the Chasm, and Victor points out other contributors to the technique from within the Bay Area's HCI community.

Whatever the origin, personas provide a valuable tool, and while I don't think they take weeks of study and months of practice to apply, we too often just "make them up". That sort of fictionalization can actually be worse than no personas at all.

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Theater

Persona originated in Ancient Greek theater and was coopted by Jung in his theory or personality. From there, a number of artists, writers and varisous other professions has used the term.

Tog and Jung

Perhaps it isn't a coincidence then that Tog, in the same 1992 book that describes personas, has another chapter - and I'm not making this up - called Carl Jung and the Macintosh. It discusses Myers-Briggs personality types and designers.

I might need to pick that up

I might need to pick that up :)

Origins of Personas as interaction design deliverable

Sorry - didn't mean to be unclear. Of course 'persona' has been used long before user experience types started using the term to refer to a rich user profile focused on goals. But of the origin of *those* personas, there's still a lot of sources, not just Cooper.

Thanks for pointing out some of the precursors in the much larger picture...