Publications on using quantitative data to establish personas

Articleed by & filed under Personas (UK), Resources.

I have collected a few articles on how to use quantitative data to establish personas. If you know of more do not hesitate to write me and I will add them to the list.

Using quantitative data to establish personas:

Brickey, J., Walczak, S., Burgess, T. (2012). Comparing Semi-Automated Clustering Methods for Persona Development. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, May-June 2012, 38 , 3, p. 537 – 546

“Current and future information systems require a better understanding of the interactions between users and systems in order to improve system use and, ultimately, success. The use of personas as design tools is becoming more widespread as researchers and practitioners discover its benefits. This paper presents an empirical study comparing the performance of existing qualitative and quantitative clustering techniques for the task of identifying personas and grouping system users into those personas. A method based on Factor (Principal Components) Analysis performs better than two other methods which use Latent Semantic Analysis and Cluster Analysis as measured by similarity to expert manually defined clusters.”


Tu, N., Dong X.,  Rau, P.-L.P., Zhang, T. (2010). Using cluster analysis in Persona development. 8th International Conference on Supply Chain Management and Information Systems (SCMIS), 2010 6-9 Oct. 2010, p. 1 – 5

“Personas are user models that represent the user characteristics. In this paper we describe a Persona creation process which combines the quantitative method such as cluster analysis with qualitative method such as observation and interview to produce convincing and representative Personas. We illustrate the Personas creation process through a case study. We use cluster analysis to group the users by their similarities in goals and decision-making preference.”


Siegel. D. A. (2010) The mystique of numbers: belief in quantitative approaches to segmentation and persona development. Proceedings of CHI EA ’10, p.4721-4732

“Quantitative market research and qualitative user-centered design research have long had an uneasy and complex relationship. A trend toward increasingly complex statistical segmentations and associated personas will once again increase the urgency of addressing paradigm differences to allow the two disciplines to collaborate effectively.

We present an instructive case in which qualitative field research helped contribute to abandoning a “state of the art” quantitative user segmentation that was used in an attempt to unify both marketing and user experience planning around a shared model of users. This case exposes risks in quantitative segmentation research, common fallacies in the evolving practice of segmentation and use of personas, and the dangers of excessive deference to quantitative research generally.”


McGinn, J. Kotamraju, N. (2008). Data-driven persona development. Proceeding of the twenty-sixth annual SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems. April 2008, CHI ’08.

“Much has been written on creating personas — both what they are good for, and how to create them. A common problem with personas is that they are not based on real customer data, and if they are, the data set is not of a sample size that can be considered statistically significant. In this paper, we describe a new method for creating and validating personas, based on the statistical analysis of data, which is fast and cost effective.”


Plinio Thomaz Aquino Junior , Lucia Vilela Leite Filgueiras (2005), User modeling with personas. Proceedings of the 2005 Latin American conference on Human-computer interaction, p.277-282, October 23-26, 2005, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Erik Markensten , Henrik Artman, (2004). Procuring a usable system using unemployed personas. Proceedings of the third Nordic conference on Human-computer interaction, p.13-22, October 23-27, 2004, Tampere, Finland

Rashmi Sinha (2003). Persona development for information-rich domains. Extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems. CHI ’03 April 05-10, 2003, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Goodwin, Kim (2002). Getting from Research to Personas: Harnessing the Power of Data.

Goodwin, Kim (2001). Perfecting Your Personas.


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