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

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  • Desilets, Alain
    ... responsibilities, ... chararacteristics that will ... goals. That would ... have different ... Are they really? My understanding of UserRoles is that they
    Message 1 of 41 , Nov 27, 2006
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      > I would say that JimTheEagerHobbyPhotographer is a different role than

      > MarthaTheSeventyYearOldGrandma. I view roles as identifying
      > objectives, and goals and persona as identifying human
      chararacteristics that will
      > affect interpretation and behavior. Jim and Martha have different
      goals. That would
      > put them into different roles for me - which means they are likely to
      have different
      > task priority..

      Are they really?

      My understanding of UserRoles is that they describe a particular kind of
      RELATIONSHIP that a particular person may have with the system at a
      particular point in time.

      Jim and Martha on the other hand are PEOPLE who will have all kinds of
      different relationships with the system at different time.

      In other words, Jim and Martha are global in scope. They color the
      design of each and every part of the system. User Roles like PhotoEditor
      or StoryTeller on the other hand, color specific parts of the system
      (which may be distributed across different modules of the system, but
      will typically not cover each and every functionality of the system).

      For reference, below are the two profiles that Jim Leask came up with
      (btw: that's Jim the eager hobby photographer ;-). Yes, we were doing a
      bit of "self-centered design" because that was only an exercise after

      I think all of the information contained in those profiles is important
      and will deeply affect the design of the system as a whole. But I don't
      see how you could easily pigeon hole it into a UserRole like PhotoEditor
      or StoryTeller.

      Name: Jim the eager hobby photographer


      * Take beautiful and cool pictures but not for sale
      * Experiment with digital photography, and digital photo
      * Share the beauty of his pictures with friends, relatives but
      fellow hobbyists.


      * Owns a high end digital SLR (DSLR) camera, and multiple
      lenses, flashes, and other camera equipment
      * Takes about 5,000 pictures per year
      * Shoots in both RAW and JPEG format
      * Works with Photoshop to process images
      * Often takes photos of his children's team sports, family and
      other events, and shares the photos with participants of the event.
      * Prints 8x10 photos on a home consumer grade photo printer,
      but is interested in the professional grade printers that are
      becoming affordable
      * He cares about his images, but struggles with keeping track
      of them
      * Works as a computer consultant, and uses disposable income on
      * Buys high end computer equipment and accessories because they
      are cool and might be useful
      * has a Rogers Extreme internet connection (as high speed as
      * Subscribes to one or more photography or Photoshop magazines,
      and has a bookshelf full of photo processing books.


      Name: Martha - the 80 year old grandma

      * View and share photos of family and friends
      * Not worry about the details of how anything works


      * Owns a point-and-shoot digital camera, but doesn't know how
      to operate it very well
      * Takes about 100 photos per year. Although she likes them,
      they are fairly low quality (from a profesionnal photographer's point of
      Martha doesn't mind this "low-quality".
      * Receives about 100 photos per year from friends and family,
      usually by email
      * The camera and computer are confusing. She frequently asks
      her son for help
      * She has a 3 year old computer and connects to the internet
      with a dial-up modem
      * Currently shares photos by taking a CD of photos to the grocery
      store to
      be printed (multiple copies) and sending prints by surface mail to
      friends and
      relatives. She finds cutting a CD difficult and often gives up on it.
      * Loves to show her photos to everyone who visits. They are a
      conversation piece.
      * Many of the people she wants to share pictures with do not own
      a computer.
      * Has very little disposable income.
    • 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.

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