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

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  • Håkan Reis
    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
    Message 1 of 41 , Nov 26, 2006
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      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 Reis
      Dotway AB
      On 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.

      Cheers,

      Adrian


    • 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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