(Ab)using personas to model managers, programmers and other stakeholders....

1 Jul 2007 - 9:05pm
9 years ago
1 reply
826 reads
Michael Scharf


personas and mental models are great tools for
interaction design. But interaction designers
themselves interact with other stakeholders,
like managers, programmers, marketing, QA etc.
They all haver their goals and mental models
of the process of creating software.

Has anyone here created personas for the
stakeholders interaction designers have to deal

For me this seems like an obvious use case for
personas and mental models. With a good set of
personas, interaction designers can optimize
the interactions with the other stakeholders.

Although the stakeholders as personas would not
be used to design a software interaction model,
it could be used understand and "optimize" the
interactions between the stakeholders. For example,
the mental models of programmers are very different
from the mental models of managers and interaction
designers. A good model could be used to clarify the
roles and the partially conflicting goals...

Any thoughts?



1 Jul 2007 - 10:16pm
Jared M. Spool

On Jul 1, 2007, at 10:05 PM, Michael Scharf wrote:

> Has anyone here created personas for the
> stakeholders interaction designers have to deal
> with?

I haven't seen anyone do this specifically, but I've seen
organizations create their own deliverable models to understand what
various players in the organization need.

Like any type of personas, you should be careful not to generalize
too far. You want to base your personas on research of real people.
So, if you were going to create personas for the stakeholders *you*
are delivering too, you'd need to do thorough research on who these
folks are and what they need. If you don't do the research, then
you're just making assumptions on stereotypes, which, in the long
run, probably won't benefit you.

Most of the teams I've observed don't have so many stakeholders that
a personas model would be beneficial. Usually there's only a few key
folks and it's better just to talk to them directly about what they
need than to abstract their needs into an intermediary level.

Hope that helps,


Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

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