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

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  • Adrian Howard
    ... [snip] Erm... have some people been saying otherwise? I always thought persona aim to capture archetypal users - not archetypal roles... or have I been
    Message 1 of 41 , Nov 27, 2006
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      On 27 Nov 2006, at 14:19, Desilets, Alain wrote:

      > Recently, I have come to the conclusion that Roles and Personaes
      > are essentially orthogonal to one another, and that you need both.
      [snip]

      Erm... have some people been saying otherwise? I always thought
      persona aim to capture archetypal users - not archetypal roles... or
      have I been missing the point all these years :-)

      [snip]
      > For examples, we had no difficulty agreeing on roles like
      > PhotoEditor (someone who modifies photos to make them look better)
      > or StoryTeller (someone who uses photos to tell a story about an
      > event or series of events). We had no trouble either agreeing on
      > UserTasks for those UserRoles either.
      >
      > But when we started trying to prioritize tasks done by a
      > PhotoEditor against tasks done by a StoryTeller, we found we could
      > not agree. The reason was that while everyone was talking about the
      > same UserRoles and UserTasks, we had very different models of the
      > actual people acting in those roles and doing those tasks. For
      > example, some were thinking of a personae which we later called
      > JimTheEagerHobbyPhotographer, while others were imagining more a
      > personae which we eventually called MarthaTheSeventyYearOldGrandma.
      > Obviously, the priorities for Jim and Martha will be quite
      > different. Jim probably puts higher priority on tasks related to
      > PhotoEditing, whereas Martha probably puts higher pirority on tasks
      > related to StoryTelling.
      >
      > So the only way to agree on prioritization seemed to be to agree on
      > which persona would be our primary target (we never did agree on
      > that btw).
      [snip]

      Yes! This is why I like using Persona names rather than Roles in
      stories. Because the interesting breakdowns when thinning stories
      happen around persona differences rather than role differences. The
      core features for JimTheEagerHobbyPhotographer's CropPhoto will be
      different from those of MarthaTheSeventyYearOldGrandma CropPhoto.

      By using persona in conversation with the customer you get them to
      start thinking about which kinds of user bring the most business
      value to particular features. I often start with identical stories
      that only differ by persona name, which then get broken down into
      quite different features for implementation.

      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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