Designing the interface, who’s this persona?

26 Jul

There’s so much research and thinking going on, and great work, to create well-crafted interfaces for software and web apps. However, it boggles my mind thinking about what the future will be like as more and more apps enable the user to create their own interface, both in terms of the visuals and the arrangement and availability of functional elements. At Word Camp, Liz Danzico shared the persona-based research they did in the process of redesigning the Word Press admin interface. I saw the following screen on my 13-year-old daughter’s computer this morning, and wondered, if her persona had been included in research, what would they have discovered?

(Click on the picture to see the whole screen.)

User-modified interface example

Of course, it doesn’t take Facebook and a 13-year old to create a funny UI, I came across a Dracula look-alike in a serious business app yesterday. More about that later.

To keep in mind, if you check back on her UI tomorrow, it will be entirely different! That’s why she puts so much energy into it, it’s actually a creative outlet, a personal expression, just as someone might have used a sketchbook or journal in the past. Here’s an idea for researchers: What if you could enable some kind of dynamic feed, and see what people are doing with their desktops, or Facebooks, or other modifiable interfaces?

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