Content audit and content inventory

“Content inventory is a list of all the information contained in a web site, along with data that describes the information from several points of view, like target audience or location. Also known as a content analysis or content audit (…)

The main distinction between these two documents [content inventory and content audit] is the level of granularity. In essence, the distinction is how much of the site you describe. With an inventory, the intent is to capture and describe every piece of content on the site. A content audit captures and describes less, focussing perhaps on the main content areas of the site or the top two levels of navigation after the home page. An audit establishes a boundary around the scope of the investigation.”

From: Brown, Dan (2007), Communicating Design, Berkeley: New Riders, p.167



“A summary representation of the system’s intended users, often described as real people. Any project can have one or more personas, each representing a different kind of audience for the system. Also known as: user profiles, user role definitions, audience profiles.”

From: Brown, Dan (2007), Communicating Design, Berkeley: New Riders, p.15

Conceptual model (Norman)

“To summarize, a conceptual model is a story. It doesn’t have to discuss the actual mechanisms of the operation. But it does have to pull the actions together into a coherent whole that allows the user to feel in control, to feel there is a reason for the way things are structured, to feel that, when necessary, it’s possible to invent special variations to get out of trouble and, in general, feel mastery over the device.”

From: Norman, Don (1999), The Invisible Computer: Why Good Products can fail, The Personal Computer Is So Complex and Information Appliances Are The Solution, New York: Harper Collins, p.179

Task Analysis

“Task analysis is used mainly to investigate an existing situation, not to envision new systems or devices. It is used to analyze the underlying rationale and purpose of what people are doing: what are they trying to achieve, why are they trying to achieve it, and how are they going about it? The information gleaned from task analysis establishes a foundation of existing practices on which to build new requirements or to design new tasks.
Task analysis is an umbrella term that covers techniques for investigating cognitive processes and physical actions, at a high level of abstraction and in minute detail. ”

From: Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. (2002), Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, New York: Wiley, p.231

Conceptual model

“By a conceptual model is meant a description of the proposed system in terms of a set of integrated ideas and concepts about what it should do, behave and look like, that will be understandable by the users in the manner intended.”

From: Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. (2002), Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, New York: Wiley, p.40

How to create personas

  1. Summarize findings [from reserach!], distribute discovery document [to stakeholders]
    1. specific and as precise as possible
    2. relevant to your product
    3. universal, ie not a singular attitude
  2. Hold a work session to brainstorm personas
  3. Prioritize and cull personas to develop primary, secondary and
    supporting personas
  4. make the personas into real people (use quotes: “The quotes act as mnemonics to keep the team connected to ther persona and the persona’s goals. It should be something that catches the nature
    of the persona’s personality and her attitude towards the
    product.” p. 177
  5. apply the personas

From: Wodtke, Christina (2003), Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web, Berkeley, CA: New Riders