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2192RE: [agile-usability] Personaes and Scenarios vs User Roles and User Tasks

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  • Dave Cronin
    Jul 13, 2006
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      RE: [agile-usability] Personaes and Scenarios vs User Roles and User Tasks

      Interesting stuff...

      At Cooper, we've found personas and scenarios to be quite useful tools to focus design activities for both consumer products and enterprise software.

      In regards to this thread, it is true that for enterprise software, personas do tend to be related to "user roles."

      However... it is rarely a one-to-one mapping. For example, for many enterprise products we've worked on, user behavior varies quite significantly across industry and geography (e.g. two material procurement planners-- one in the US chemical industry, one in the Asian electronics industry-- do their jobs quite differently, and have different needs of the software).

      Personas are a good way to capture and reflect these two different behavior patterns, whereas just focusing on user role misses some significant detail.

      -dave


      -----Original Message-----
      From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com on behalf of leina elgohari
      Sent: Thu 7/13/2006 3:34 PM
      To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Personaes and Scenarios vs User Roles and User Tasks

      At the XP Ottawa meeting, Robert Biddle pointed out that personaes and scenarios may be more useful in consumer electronics whereas User Roles may be more useful for corporate in-house types of software.
        
        I find this statement very interesting. Does anyone know if this has been said before? If this a common view? If this is new I would like to quote Robert Biddle and as such I would really appreciate it Alain if you can provide more details about him; e.g. company name, position within the organisaiton and details of the Ottawa meeting such as date, name of the conference if it was a conference etc.
        
        Many Thanks, Leina

      "Desilets, Alain" <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
                Here's another one in the vein of X vs Y.

      Back in May, I faciliated a short Agile-UCD exercise à la Jeff Patton, at the Ottawa XP chapter. The exercise used the concept of a photo organizer as its focus.

      Everything went pretty well until we got to the point of establishing a span plan. There, we realized that we didn't know how to prioritize the different User Tasks, beyond the first couple obvious one. Basically, when trying to answer the question of "is task A highly useful", we found ourselves asking the question: "Useful for who?". And we found we couldn't answer that second question in terms of User Roles. The reason is that while "Jim, the enthusiastic hobby photographer" and "Martha the 70 year old grandma" might both need to act in the role of "Photo Corrector", their needs and priority in that respect are very different. Martha probably doesn't care that much if the pics don't look that good (she just wants to share pics of grandchildren with other grannys), but for Jim, that's probably high on the priority list.

      I came across a similar thing when doing Agile-UCD à la Jeff to design a multilingual wiki system. Everything went well until we got to the span plan part. There, we found what we missed was not so much personaes, as context rich Scenarios that tell a typical journey of a user through a sequence of tasks over time.

      At the XP Ottawa meeting, Robert Biddle pointed out that personaes and scenarios may be more useful in consumer electronics whereas User Roles may be more useful for corporate in-house types of software. The reason for this being that there is a lot more individual variability between users of consumer electronics than in corporate in-house software, and User Roles+User Tasks are too abstract to capture those.

      I think I agree with that statement, and I plan to apply it as follows. I will always do both Personaes+Scenarios AND User Roles+User Tasks, but devote more time to one or the other, depending on what seems most appropriate.

      Any other thoughts on this topic?



              

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