If you were to think of an assembly line making something, the user roles would be the various stations on the assembly line. Door installer, Trim Installer,Message 1 of 41 , Nov 27, 2006View SourceIf you were to think of an assembly line making something, the user roles would be the various stations on the assembly line. Door installer, Trim Installer, etc. The personae would be "Eager Newbie" (Eager to learn, technologically savvy...) , "Nearly Retired" (Just putting in time until I retire next week; don't try to teach me anything new), "Union Leader Wannabe" (Will this help me become a Shop Steward? Where does it say I have to do that in the collective bargaining agreement?)
The role describes what they do while the persona describe their mindset while they do it. Sometimes, only one persona may want to play a role but this is the exception rather than the rule.
Does this help?
Adrian Howard wrote:
On 27 Nov 2006, at 17:50, Jon Meads wrote:
> I would say that JimTheEagerHobbyPho tographer is a different role than
> MarthaTheSeventyYea rOldGrandma. I view roles as identifying
> responsibilities, objectives, and goals and persona as identifying
> chararacteristics that will affect interpretation and behavior. Jim
> Martha have different goals. That would put them into different
> roles for
> me - which means they are likely to have different task priority..
I think I understand the distinction that you're drawing between
roles and persona. However don't you tend to end up between a one-to-
one relationship between roles and persona? If so I'm not sure I see
the utility in separating the concepts... but this may well be me
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... I do find that I use personas less often in the enterprise and more often in the consumer world, but I would attribute this to the relativeMessage 41 of 41 , Dec 1 10:39 AMView Source
> > With corporate software, there is an existingI do find that I use personas less often in the
> > structure that groups people by function,
> > education, and those introduce a minimal amount
> > of uniformity (again, I'm not saying that
> > individual differences don't exist within
> > a same work unit... Just saying that there
> > is a bit more uniformity there).
> Look closely at anything and uniformity disappears.
> ( http://
> www.despair.com/individuality.html )
enterprise and more often in the consumer world, but I
would attribute this to the relative "horizontal-ness"
of the system under consideration, rather than the
"enterprise-ness" of system.
When you have a very vertical application in the
enterprise context, roles can go a long way and are
often a good enough model to use--especially when
combined with feedback from actual users.
But when the system is more horizontal--a phone system
perhaps--personas become more useful because the role
"phone user" doesn't get you very far.
I agree with Jared that the closer you look, the less
uniformity you have. Thus "horizontal-ness" is
something of an artificial distinction. If are
motivated to look at any vertically-defined role
closely enough, if you spend enough money and time,
you can make a vertical role as horizontal as you
So what determines "horizontal-ness?" I would argue
that (in terms of deciding whether you use personas as
a design tool) you consider both the intrinsic
differences of behavior and motivation, but also the
extrinsic factors: namely the relative value of
investigating those differences on any given project,
and the relative motivation of the client to pay for