Towards reusable personas for everyday design

Document Type

Book Chapter



Publication (Name of Journal)

Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa



ACM digital library


Personas are artificial character based representations of user goals, attitudes, motivations and abilities which enable designers to focus their design efforts on key, targeted users. The success of personas in design is due to their capacity to enable designers to empathize with users and understand user goals. Persona development is rooted in the rigorous collection and analysis of data specifically related to the design project being undertaken. New design projects thus require the development of new personas. Since redevelopment is not always achievable attention has turned towards reuse of personas and the underlying data. This paper reports on ongoing research into the development of reusable personas for use by non-expert, everyday designers. Such designers are regularly faced with small scale but diverse design challenges for which they cannot carry out user research and modelling. They can, however, make use of general, reusable personas developed independently of their current design project.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.