RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories
- Thanks, Larry. Very interesting. Do you know when Rebecca first started
talking about roles? I have a paper here from Jacobson dated 1987 that
describes their use in OO development.
BTW, I wasn't suggesting that designers of information systems should
thoroughly research roles and their interrelationships. My point is more
that roles are not a very useful focus of attention in many systems.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine
Sent: 27 March 2013 13:06
Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories
> A role is a systemizing concept so really makes no allowance for needsthe individual. Using it to represent users glosses over many of the
inter-role issues like role ambiguity, role incompatibility, role conflict
and so on. Of course, we have Ivar Jacobson and use cases to thank for
roles, and they're not entirely without merit, but someone filling role A in
one context of use may have quite different needs to someone filling the
same role in a different context. <
The user role concept traces back to contributions from Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
and was developed and elaborated in usage-centered design and later
model-driven activity-centered design (Constantine and Lockwood). A role is
a relationship between users and a system or service and is defined (ala
Wirfs-Brock) by a characteristic set of needs, expectations, interests, and
responsibilities in relation to the system/service and in the context of the
activity in which the user is participating. As such, a user role focuses
precisely on those issues most salient to effective interaction design (see
my chapter in The Persona Lifecycle for persuasive support). That it blurs
or compresses "individual differences" is precisely why it is a more compact
and efficient model, particularly for agile design and development.
Individual incumbents in a role vary immensely; the role itself is are far
less variable. Individuals are extremely complicated; roles are far simpler.
A well-formulated role absolutely does make allowance for the needs of the
individual, but not as an individual, not as a person, but rather as an
individual in a particular activity and in a particular relationship to a
- On 3/26/2013 10:03 PM, Adam Sroka wrote:
> I can't remember who said it or the exact context, but I remember hearing thatYes, they used cards for all sorts of purposes including organizing
> Ward and Kent really liked using cards for a variety of different things and
> that when stories came along it was just a natural fit.
presentations by putting each thing they wanted to talk about onto a card. Easy
to reorganize the content simply by moving the card. Other agilist/OO people
have adopted this style of presentation "notes" most notably (Uncle) Bob Martin
(who rarely uses visuals in presentation) and Ron Jeffries (another CCC team
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