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Don Norman om Apple och personor

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Donald Norman kommer ju till From Business to buttons i sommar. Vad jag verkligen skulle vilja höra honom prata om, är hans kritik av personor som design-metod. Norman förespråkar vad han kallar activity centered design. Och om just Apple's design-framgångar har han sagt så här:

"... [Apple's] design genius lies in its dedication to making simple, elegant devices for specific activities, not demographic types, he says. Its early markets were learning and publishing; now they're creativity and entertainment. 'The proper way to design is not to target an individual type of customer. You want 100 million customers', says Norman.
That Computer Is So You (Business Week, 2 jan 2008, min fetstil)

Är personor ett villospår i designprocessen? Så här skrev Norman i fackorganet Interactions 2005:

"Look at those detailed scenarios and personas: honestly, now, did they really inform your design? Did knowing that the persona is that of a 37 year old, single mother, studying for the MBA at night, really help lay out the control panel or determine the screen layout and, more importantly, to design the appropriate action sequence?" (...)

"Apple replaced its well known, well-respected human interface design team with a single, authoritative (dictatorial) leader. Did usability suffer? On the contrary: its new products are considered prototypes of great design."
Human-Centered Design Considered Harmful (Interactions, 12. 4, July + August, 2005)

Men att designa utifrån antaganden om personer är å andra sidan definitiv bättre andra vanliga sätt (som att designa utifrån hur databasen är konstruerad - vanligt i it-projekt, till exempel). Som Norman också sagt i en intervju om Apple:

"If you follow my [guidelines], it will guarantee good design. But Steve Jobs doesn't want good design. He wants great design, and my method will never give you that. That takes a rare leader, who can bring both the cohesion and commitment and style. And Steve has it."
Commentary: Apple's Blueprint for Genius (Business Week, 21 mars 2005, min kursivering).

Good enough, for the rest of us, then, vi som inte är genier? Vi får väl åka till Malmö och fråga honom.

För ett företag som definitivt uppnått "good" med personor, se inlägget Stöp om företaget, nå rekordvinster, och bli börsvinnare - med personor! här på inuseful (30 april 2007).

/Jonas Söderström