I have to admit that this article confused me a little, as what are personas if not a means of communicating the insights you’ve gained from user research to the wider team? So rather than creating a barrier, their whole point is to foster greater empathy for customers around the organisation.

It’s possible that the author primarily works in highly user-focussed environments where everybody on the team regularly comes into contact with customers through systematised research. In this case I could see why personas could be an unnecessary distraction from pure exposure time.

However that’s not the case for a lot of organisations, where the customer is often seen as a single homogenous stereotype. In these situations, taking research insights and turning into a social object the whole organisation can share, is definitely a step in the right direction.

As such, context is obviously key here.

User Experience Designer, startup advisor, occasional conference speaker, @Clearleft founder, and curator of @UXLondon and @LDConf