About Last Night
(Illustration by John Bauer)
I am a minimalist. I like Swedish design, electronic simplicity and menus that don't have multiple pages. I mentally edit things a lot, and get frustrated with excess. If I were a persona, I'd be the user who doesn't want to spend a lot of time on a site, doesn't want to mess around with videos and other ads masquerading as entertainment, and definitely doesn't tolerate more than two typos.
Also, like all users, I want the search to work. If I can't find it, I'm going to look for it somewhere else.
All of these qualities are pretty typical, and not specific enough to create a user persona. You've got to get way more personal and detailed than that, as I learned last night while sitting in on User Experience with Jodie Shotwell. My details aren't anything I'm going to reveal here. (No need to voluntarily broadcast my demographics and further compromise the lack of privacy that is life in an electronic world.)
I learned all about the research and preparation that goes into designing a good website experience. I totally get into that stuff and would act like an obnoxious know-it-all old lady if asked to be a tester. Usually sites are way more complicated than they have to be and I'd gladly take a red pen to the copy and navigation.
Which inspires me to take this opportunity to thank a former boss for my redlining passion. When MNS first reviewed curriculum I was working on for elementary school implementation (about watching less TV so that kids would go outside and play) I was shocked by what she had eliminated. What about my prose, my style, my skillful transitions?
Mostly, they were repetitive.
Now I get satisfaction from trimming the fat. Good thing blogging is a more immediate process and style, so I can experiment with being a little chubby here.
Schematic, if you need me to test a site, you know where to find me.