Practice-based personas: integrated user and practice models

Document Type

Conference Paper

Conference Name

First Impressions and Early Findings from Ongoing Research Research-in-Progress Papers and Poster Presentations from the 10th International Conference, DESRIST 2015.

Conference Location

Dublin, Ireland

Publication (Name of Journal)

Cork Open Research Archive (CORA)


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa






Practices are routinised behaviours with social and material components and complex relationships over space and time. Practice-based design goes beyond interaction design to consider how these components and their relationships impact on the formation and enactment of a practice, where technology is just one part of the practice. Though situated user-centred design methods such as participatory design are employed for the design of practice, demand exists for additional methods and tools in this area. This paper introduces practice-based personas as an extension of the persona approach popular in interaction design, and demonstrates how a set of practice-based personas was developed for a given domain – academic practice. The three practice-based personas developed here are linked to a catalogue of forty practices, offering designers both a user perspective and a practice perspective when designing for the domain.


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