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

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  • Jared M. Spool
    Jon, I think I understand what you re asking for. One of the first examples I ran into was 30 years ago, when designing the early word processors. We d visited
    Message 1 of 41 , Nov 30, 2006
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      Jon,

      I think I understand what you're asking for.

      One of the first examples I ran into was 30 years ago, when designing
      the early word processors. We'd visited a word processing shop -- a
      place where people spent 8+ hours a day typing and editing other
      people's documents in these massive farms of WANG, IBM, and DEC word
      processors.

      We noticed that, at about 20 minutes before the shift was ending, the
      typists would stop working and grab all the output they were typing
      and start leafing through every page. At first, we thought they were
      double checking their work, but it became clear they weren't paying
      any attention to the content on the page.

      Instead, they were counting the pages they'd produced. We found out
      shortly later they were all paid based on the page count. 20 minutes
      of their shift was spent counting something computers could easily
      count.

      We added a page count feature to our product and it was an instant
      hit in that shop, giving both the users (typists) and the business 20
      more minutes of productivity a day. (Which was a lot -- the average
      typing speed of these typists were about 115 wpm. I saw one woman who
      could type 140wpm. It was incredible. And our early prototypes
      couldn't keep up. :) )

      Is that the sort of example you were looking for?

      Jared

      On Nov 30, 2006, at 2:06 AM, Jon Kern wrote:

      > can you provide a discrete example situation where the usability of a
      > system or design of a system UI takes this level of behavior into
      > account? And I don't mean for a system designed to track or detect
      > this
      > negative behavior. (That is, this behavior is *not* part of the
      > requirements.) For example, a sales force support system without any
      > negative behavior detection requirement...
    • 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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