Is stereotyping inevitable when designing with personas?

Turner, P., Turner, S. (2011). Is stereotyping inevitable when designing with personas?. Design Studies, 32, (), 30-44.



User representations are central to user-centred design, personas being one of the more recent developments. However, such descriptions of people risk stereotyping. We review the genesis and application of personas and kindred representations, and discuss the psychological roots of stereotyping and why it is so powerful. It is also noted that user stereotypes may be broadly accurate. This raises a number of questions. On practical level, as stereotyping is deeply engrained and resistant to circumvention, what are the instrumental approaches to its avoidance? Or, do we simply hope that its effects are not particularly prejudicial or detrimental? We argue that stereotyping in the design of interactive technology may be usefully thought of as comprising a number of tensions (or dialectics).
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Phil Turner
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Areas of Expertise

Interaction Design
Interaction Design is concerned with the design of interactive objects and spaces and with the delivery of high quality user experiences (UX). For example, expressive interaction describes the range of new forms of human-computer interaction that are made available through technologies based on...

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