Re: [agile-usability] Who is using multiple personae for one job role?
- There are two sides of this. Yes, its often better to have multiple personas but I don't think that it's an absolut must. especially when you try to bild things up more in the agile sense. Start small and let it expand as needed.And I object to Peter, using one persona is not the same as trying use an "average" person. Creating good personas is not about beeing generic in the role, quite the oposit, find and explore the extremes in the role.Cheers,Håkan ReisDotway ABOn 11/27/06, Adrian Howard <adrianh@...> wrote:
On 26 Nov 2006, at 03:32, aacockburn wrote:
> 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?
Another yes to multiple persona per role.
That said I think it is a relatively common approach to focus the
design effort on a single primary persona - which can make excellent
business sense if they are the majority of your market. It's
sometimes more important to address the needs of a single group than
it is to please everybody.
I tend to work with the customer to split persona into three groups:
a) The folk we have to please to make our daily bread
b) The folk we'd like to please (as long as this doesn't interfere
with the first group)
c) Everybody else
I like to write stories that start "As <persona>..." so the grouping
of persona by business value can then help drive the prioritisation
of the stories during development.
> > 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