Re: Who is using multiple personae for one job role?
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Desilets, Alain"
> > I think statements like "corporate people like roles while
> > products like personas" have more exceptions than factualNot just a hunch, but a more subtle difference here that should be
> > background,
> > but let's go with it. It's your hunch, after all...
considered. When people talk about "corporate" software, it is not
always clear if they are talking about consumer software that is mass-
marketed to corporations and small businesses (think Microsoft
Office; Quick Books, etc.) or custom software developed for a
If it is custom software, then I think there is a much stronger push
to work through user roles because corporate clout or culture tends
to uniformity (think US Army or old-time Arthur Andersen) or the psuh
to work through roles happens because the people developing the
software do not get access to enough users within the organization to
find variations. Or the project deadline is so tight, diffenreces
have to be stereotyped away.
Often such projects are tightly controlled by a small set of people
who are not necessarily in touch with day-to-day users but dealing
off their own personal quirks and opinions of what is usable.
Software written for business use but marketed through channels that
touch a wide range of businesses are much more like consumer software
and really must think in terms of personnas.
> > 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