RE: [agile-usability] Who is using multiple personae for one job role?
- I often use 1-3 personas for a given role. The reason for using multiple personas is exactly as you mentioned. Users usually have a range of personalities and behaviors and a good design will be usable (and appreciated) by all the users, not just the one chosen as the primary or "typical" user.Cheers,jon
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of aacockburn
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2006 7:32 PM
Subject: [agile-usability] Who is using multiple personae for one job role?
The first time I heard of personas, back in 1992, the person was
creating multiple of these for each role, the idea being that actual
people who showed up for the spot had differing personalities and
traits, and the designers needed multiple (e.g. 2 or 3), specific
personae written out to cover them. They tested the design against
all 2-3 personae.
In all the reading/listening on the subject in the last couple of
years, I only hear reference to ONE persona per role.
Are there any people out there creating more than one persona to
design and test against?
thanks - Alistair
> > 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