As we work on the UI walkthroughs, evaluators need to "get into the heads" of the product's users. Personas can help us do that. Alternatively, it is also common practice to use profiles, a general user description based on roles and/or demographics. Both personas and profiles are generally accepted in practice. Personas include the user's context, and allow us concentrate on the way users get their work done. Besides generally helping us think like our users, they are particularly useful in thinking through user behavior to complete the scenarios, which we'll doing during the cognitive walkthrough phase of the evaluation.
For the UX walkthroughs we've decided to use the primary personas for several institution roles, faculty, teaching assistant/grad student, undergrad, researcher. To minimize scope we will not be evaluating as a system administrator at this time.
Sara Windsor, Overwhelmed faculty
Yu Jin Jeong, Graduate Student - Teaching Assistant
Ed McClellan, Undergraduate
Andrew Devall, Principle Investigator