Designing Authentic Personas for Open educational Resources Designers 

John Baaki1, Jennifer Maddrell, Eric Stauffer, International Journal of Designs for Learning, Nov 09, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm not really a fan of personas but they are widely used in software and product design so it's appropriate to see them deployed in the development of OERs. This article describes the process undertaken by Designers for Learning, "a nonprofit organization in the United States that coordinates service-learning opportunities for those who seek to gain experience in creating instruction to support important social causes." The journal article (13 page PDF) emphasizes that "When designers visualize the end user of a design, they can influence the design process... relying solely on traditional descriptive information (i.e., demographics) about the intended audience does not help designers develop empathy toward the audience." The design process is also a pdagogical process, as suggested by the 4-phase framework of empathy in design practice (illustrated).

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