Using real users as personas is good or bad?

Using real users as personas is good or bad?

Hi guys,

I'm writing a Vision Document and as I know who will use the application I'm using real people as personas. This is a good or bad approached? Why?

What are your thoughts?

I once read something(?) that argued against the use of real known users and I've stuck with it.

The benefits are that it is really easy to identify that persona because it is a real known user.

But there can be problems:
- what you write might be constrained because it does not fit that person exactly;
- can provide the idea that we're designing the application for that person;
- people may be unconfortable with us using their photo (which is important in a persona);
- may generate ressentment from other people from the organization.

Hi Jandira,

I think Gonçalo already mentioned the main problems of sticking closely with a specific (real) user. Remember that personas are archetypes to identify the users motivations, expectations and goals that drive their behaviour, and althought they are fictional representations they are based on knowledge of real users.

I think a good approach is making sure that you grab relevant information that you have from *several* real users with that role and build your persona from that.

My 2 cents,