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