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Oji Udezue and Fabio Pettinati - The role of personas in Longhorn's design

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Alan Cooper, in his books and speeches in the 1990s, pushed a design methodology of starting with personas to help design new software. (You might know Alan because he designed the prototype of what later became Visual Basic).

Here Oji Udezue and Fabio Pettinati of the UXConnects team gives you a tour through the hallways of building nine and shows you some of the things that are hanging on the walls there. Hint: personas. Personas. Personas.

How do you use personas in your software development projects.

Check out the "Love Longhorn" shirt that Fabio is wearing. Oh, and don't miss camera guy Robert Scoble walking backwards right into a wall.

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  • Chris PietschmannCRPietschma​nn Chris Pietschmann
    personas. Personas. Personas. You must know your end users. Awesome idea, make then very personal by giving them normal people names. These videos are all great, I love having some insight as to how Microsoft does development; I can then employ some of these insights into my own development. And, using personas this way is something I'm definately going to try to do.
  • Adam KinneyAdamKinney Agent of Change
    The ultimate in Transperancy; Let us go to http://WindowsClient/Personas !!


    I know, I know, Corporate secrets and all....
  • Ah, Alan Cooper is the man, and it's nice to see MS using some of his ideas. To anyone interested in UI design I highly recommed getting his books and reading them, they totally changed the way I think about UI design. Guys, any chance of some more videos like this one?
  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up
    Do they also have a zero-knowledge persona? Like a person who has never worked with a computer before?
    For those people they should have some cool training stuff like: How to work with the mouse (single/double click) and keyboard. Introduction to security, enabling firewall. How to install and uninstall software.
    All basic stuff.
  • ZippyV wrote:
    Do they also have a zero-knowledge persona? Like a person who has never worked with a computer before?
    For those people they should have some cool training stuff like: How to work with the mouse (single/double click) and keyboard. Introduction to security, enabling firewall. How to install and uninstall software.
    All basic stuff.


    Introduction to security, eh.  It's interesting that you mention that one.  What if they don't care to learn about it?  They should have an "ornery" persona that doesn't want to be bothered learning anything technical.  Or even a person that is *unable* learn technical things.  Is that person still protected by a firewall by default even though he doesn't know it?  Does that person have reasonable protection against viruses?  Trojans?  Spyware?  Does that person get security updates?  A lot of these problems seem to have been tackled by XP SP2.
  • Really interesting what has to be done to make a good OS that everybody likes Smiley


    btw is it possible to get such a "Love Longhorn" shirt as an average Longhorn Fan? Big Smile
  • rasxrasx Emperor of String.Empty
    Personas enumerate 31 flavors of humanity. Making humanity finite is always dangerous. Let's not exclude positive infinity from this left-brain number line.

    Nasty question: is the coming-up-with-personas-campfire-roundtable-bake-off getting in the way of actually shipping a product? "Of course not."

    When LongHorn SP1 is as big as LongHorn RTM 1.0 then I will know that they wasted their time.
  • rasxrasx Emperor of String.Empty
    Dear Alan Cooper,

    When there is an OS that is reliable enough to send me a fault-tolerant OnSystemShutdown event, then I will not show any "save changes?" dialogs before the fat-client form closes. Mr. Cooper, you are way before your time.

    MS Babies got to crawl (with doctorates) before they can walk.
  • rasx wrote:
    When there is an OS that is reliable enough to send me a fault-tolerant OnSystemShutdown event, then I will not show any "save changes?" dialogs before the fat-client form closes. Mr. Cooper, you are way before your time.
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding your comment. 
    If the system loses power, for example, what good does a save changes box do you?  I doubt the user can click it in the .25 nanoseconds it may or may not be displayed.
    If you're referring to logout/shutdown/restart, does Windows not reliably give you a WM_QUIT, or your favorite abstraction-specific notification?  I have never encountered a problem with them.
  • jpruittjpruitt Know your users.

    If you are interested in the concept of personas, please check out the conference papers that my colleage Jonathan Grudin and I wrote about the method.  In addition to background and theory on personas, they both provide some detail on how Microsoft uses them.

    Personas: Practice and Theory.
    J. Pruitt and J. Grudin, 2003. Proc. Design for User Experience Conference, San Francisco, 2003, CD ROM, 15 pages. 
    http://www.research.microsoft.com/research/coet/Grudin/Personas/Pruitt-Grudin.doc


    Personas, Participatory Design and Product Development: An Infrastructure for Engagement.
    J. Grudin and J. Pruitt, 2002. Proc. Participatory Design Conference, Sweden, 2002, 144-161.
    http://www.research.microsoft.com/research/coet/Grudin/Personas/Grudin-Pruitt.doc

  • rasxrasx Emperor of String.Empty
    I am no certified expert of the .NET Framework but it appears that Longhorn might offer something that appears not to be in the current framework: managed OS-level events.

    The System namespace and the Environment namespace do not have any events. For "obvious" unmanaged reasons I suppose. But it would not surprise me that a Longhorn OS might be able to fire events right into a CLR assembly.

    It might be possible to promise that the concept of crashing or freezing as we know it will be rendered obsolete. So a LongHorn OS-level event would be the ProcessNotRespondingEvent which some "master assembly" (so simple that it itself cannot crash or freeze) listens to for some user-friendly handling.

    Enough of this speculation! I'm out of my depth. I'm off to get a persona that people care about! Seattle, here I come!
  • Would it be possible to obtain an electronic copy of the Personas posters?

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