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Personaes and Scenarios vs User Roles and User Tasks

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  • Desilets, Alain
    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
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 11, 2006
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      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?
    • Andrea Pilati
      my two cents...from the perspective of analyzing a financial web site that covers many many personas, plus being the requirements person who is bound by IT
      Message 2 of 12 , Jul 11, 2006
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        my two cents...from the perspective of analyzing a financial web site that covers many many personas, plus being the requirements person who is bound by IT constraints (that continuum > boo hiss > denial > anger > acceptance > collaboration).

        we developed a matrix (i know, over-used) that allows us to identify specific tasks that we'd "enact" on our personas, in order to satisfy a business objective. Prioritizing those actions with those users that got them to the ultimate experience were the tasks that we are planning on prioritizing first. Where's the biggest bang for the buck?

        If you follow the span plan, then the most highly valuable experiences would get priority. But, I get it. Is Martha more "valuable"? Maybe. Maybe not. To who?

        Is there some kind of way to create parallel tracks, so that one team focuses on one persona, and another the 2nd one? Given, there must be a lot of integrating - constant communication - so that what (the function) is developed in one team can be re-purposed in another, with a different focus? Thus creating common objects, and when personas move (if they do) from one persona/usage to another the transition is seamless?

        andrea

        --
        Andrea Pilati
        Simplepath Inc.
        tel: 416-570-1255
        fax: 1-866-779-8124
        email: andrea@...

      • leina elgohari
        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
        Message 3 of 12 , Jul 13, 2006
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          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?


        • Rick Evans
          I do not find this to be true at all. For the last 2 years I worked as UxD at a large financial company and was in charge of all of the internal call center
          Message 4 of 12 , Jul 13, 2006
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            I do not find this to be true at all. For the last 2
            years I worked as UxD at a large financial company and
            was in charge of all of the internal call center
            applications. I worked with the business analysts and
            thru many contextual inquiry sessions of obsevring the
            users as they worked in their work environments, I
            created 5 different personas. I socialized the
            personas to all of the developers and we used them
            when dealing with new enhancements and to decide who
            should be selected for usability tests. I found the
            work of creating personas invaluable in forcing me to
            generalize the 100's of pages of notes I took from the
            user sessions. I would have done it whether anyone
            else ever looked at them or not. I do not find User
            Roles useful compared to personas.

            --- leina elgohari <leina_elgohari@...> wrote:

            > 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?
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


            Rick Evans
            bhaktivani.com  ,  mergingcurrents.com
                   attentive2design.com
          • Dave Cronin
            Interesting stuff... At Cooper, we ve found personas and scenarios to be quite useful tools to focus design activities for both consumer products and
            Message 5 of 12 , 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?



                      

            • PaulOldfield1@aol.com
              (responding to Leina) ... A possible origin (quoted by Mike Cohn in his User Stories Applied ) is: Djajadiningrat, J.P, W. W. Gaver and J. W. Frens.
              Message 6 of 12 , Jul 14, 2006
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                (responding to Leina)
                > 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.
                 
                A possible origin (quoted by Mike Cohn in his "User Stories Applied")
                is:
                 
                Djajadiningrat, J.P, W. W. Gaver and J. W. Frens. "Intreaction Relabelling
                and Extreme Characters: Methods for exploring aesthetic interactions."
                in Symposium on Designing Interactive Systems 2000, pp66-71.
                 
                I haven't checked this out but from Mike Cohn's words it is a likely candidate
                for the origin.  I also suspect that they were using something akin to
                personae but for a specific purpose, which may explain Rick's comment.
                 
                Paul Oldfield
              • Desilets, Alain
                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
                Message 7 of 12 , Jul 14, 2006
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                  Message
                  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. 
                   
                  -- Alain:
                  I don't know if this has been said before, but I have also heard Jeff Patton express a similar idea when we were co-presenting at the Montreal Agile users group. He got into a discussion with someone in the audience about Personnaes vs User Roles which got resolved when they both recognized that the person in the audience was working mostly in a consumer electronics context.
                   
                  Robert's line of argumentation made a lot of sense, but for some reason I can't recall the details anymore. Robert, can you comment?
                   
                  BTW: Robert is a professor at Carleton University. He's done lots of work on the customer role in Agile. Very smart guy. XP Ottawa is the Ottawa XP users group. We have highly informal meetings once a month.
                  ----
                • Chris Pehura
                  My spin on it is that analysis methods depend more on the analysts and the audience more so than the domain its applied in. I ve seen both methods applied with
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jul 14, 2006
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                    My spin on it is that analysis methods depend more on the analysts and the audience more so than the domain its applied in. I've seen both methods applied with high success in both areas.

                    Chris Pehura
                    chris@...
                    630-696-8101

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: "Desilets, Alain" <alain.desilets@...>
                    Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 07:38:15
                    To:<agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>
                    Cc:<robert_biddle@...>
                    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. 
                     
                    -- Alain:
                    I don't know if this has been said before, but I have also heard Jeff Patton express a similar idea when we were co-presenting at the Montreal Agile users group. He got into a discussion with someone in the audience about Personnaes vs User Roles which got resolved when they both recognized that the person in the audience was working mostly in a consumer electronics context.
                     
                    Robert's line of argumentation made a lot of sense, but for some reason I can't recall the details anymore. Robert, can you comment?
                     
                    BTW: Robert is a professor at Carleton University. He's done lots of work on the customer role in Agile. Very smart guy. XP Ottawa is the Ottawa XP users group. We have highly informal meetings once a month.
                    ----
                  • marjoriepries
                    I m coming to this discussion a little late but per the points below, I do not believe you can separate User Tasks from Roles / Personnas. It is, I think,
                    Message 9 of 12 , Aug 17, 2006
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                      I'm coming to this discussion a little late but per the points below,
                      I do not believe you can separate User Tasks from Roles / Personnas.
                      It is, I think, naive, to isolate a task as a series of steps and
                      then assume those steps solve the needs of all/any users. The very
                      nature of the user, who they are and what they want to achieve,
                      affects how they approach a task.

                      As Alain points out in the example below, what the hobby photographer
                      would consider an appropriate sequence of steps for a photo editing
                      task are completely different from the task definition you'd get from
                      the grandma taking casual family photos.

                      The real problem Alain met in his training session was that business
                      had not adequately defined the product. Tasks cannot be prioritized
                      without the business owners deciding which Roles / Personnas are the
                      priority for the release.

                      At TW, we usually take care of this with a project QuickStart, or at
                      least, have a pretty clear idea lined out with the business
                      stakeholders via the statement of work. If the business can't come to
                      grips with that and insists that a product be all things to all
                      users, bail out quick! - or start figuring out a Vulcan mind game to
                      persuade them your priorities are the way to go :-)

                      I good book on the subject of deciding what a product or project
                      should be about is The Purple Cow by Seth Godin
                      (http://www.sethgodin.com/purple/)

                      > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, leina elgohari
                      <leina_elgohari@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > 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.
                      >
                      > "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.
                      >
                      > Any other thoughts on this topic?
                      >
                    • Larry Constantine
                      Ultimately the relative importance of tasks depends on the user and the specific activities in which the user is engaged, which means there is not one
                      Message 10 of 12 , Aug 21, 2006
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                        Ultimately the relative importance of tasks depends on the user and the
                        specific activities in which the user is engaged, which means there is not
                        one prioritization but many. To the business, however, the issues are not
                        what are the absolute priorities in every case but what to include now, what
                        to include later, and what can or should be omitted.

                        A major risk is inadvertently shipping a product that is missing some
                        essential feature. One approach to reducing this risk is to prioritize first
                        by role, then cross checking task support and features to make sure that the
                        roles selected are fully supported. We construct a role support matrix to
                        clarify the relationship between roles as prioritized and tasks as
                        prioritized. If you are doing activity modeling, the same prioritization and
                        cross-checking applies.

                        In my experience it is not so important to get all the task rankings exactly
                        right. What is most of interest from the business standpoint is the high and
                        low ends. High ranked tasks, which are priorities for high priority roles or
                        across multiple roles, need extra care in design and implementation. The
                        lowest ranked tasks that may be desirable but not absolutely necessary are
                        candidates for cutting corners or deferral until later releases.

                        A fine-grained task model (e.g., essential use cases) is more useful for
                        this kind of decision making than scenarios, which are to coarse-grained and
                        mix high-level and top-priority tasks with low-level and low-priority ones
                        into a single storyline.

                        --Larry Constantine, IDSA
                      • leina elgohari
                        Yes, this message goes back a little but can someone please explain what USER ROLES are? Many Thanks, Leina leina elgohari wrote: At
                        Message 11 of 12 , Aug 22, 2006
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                          Yes, this message goes back a little but can someone please explain what USER ROLES are?
                           
                          Many Thanks, Leina

                          leina elgohari <leina_elgohari@...> wrote:
                          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?



                        • Jon Meads
                          A User Role is a generalized description of a user relative to the functions and goals for that user. It often includes information on the organizational
                          Message 12 of 12 , Aug 24, 2006
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                            A User Role is a generalized description of a user relative to the functions and goals for that user. It often includes information on the organizational position of the user, the activities and responsibilities, goals and measures relative to their use of the product, what training, skills, and experience they are expected to have, and what tasks they perform. A user role is not and individual - a given individual may interact with a product in several user roles.  Often you will have one or more personas associated with a given user role.
                             
                            Cheers,
                            jon


                            From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of leina elgohari
                            Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 2:09 PM
                            To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Personaes and Scenarios vs User Roles and User Tasks

                            Yes, this message goes back a little but can someone please explain what USER ROLES are?
                             
                            Many Thanks, Leina

                            leina elgohari <leina_elgohari@ yahoo.com> wrote:
                            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@ nrc-cnrc. gc.ca> 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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