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RE: [agile-usability] Who is using multiple personae for one job role?

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  • Jon Meads
    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
    Message 1 of 41 , Nov 25, 2006
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      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: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of aacockburn
      Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2006 7:32 PM
      To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
      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

    • Josh Seiden
      ... 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 relative
      Message 41 of 41 , Dec 1, 2006
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        > > With corporate software, there is an existing
        > > 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 )


        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 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
        would like.

        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
        that value.

        JS
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