Agile development processes are increasing their consideration of usability by integrating various user-centered design techniques throughout development. One such technique is Personas, which proposes the creation of fictitious users with real preferences to drive application design. Since applying this technique conflicts with the time constraints of agile development, Personas has been adapted over the years. Our objective is to determine the adoption level and type of integration, as well as to propose improvements to the Personas technique for agile development. A systematic mapping study was performed, retrieving 28 articles grouped by agile methodology type. We found some common integration strategies regardless of the specific agile approach, along with some frequent problems, mainly related to Persona modelling and context representation. Based on these limitations, we propose an adaptation to the technique in order to reduce the creation time for a preliminary persona. The number of publications dealing with Personas and agile development is increasing, which reveals a growing interest in the application of this technique to develop usable agile software.
Keywords: agile methodology; human–computer interaction; personas; software engineering; systematic mapping study; user profiling; user-centered design.