Multiple persona disorder

It’s almost time for our monthly OSS breakfast in Melbourne (last Wednesday of each month). Last month saw the attendance of the only UI / UX expert I know who also has OSS experience. It surprises me that there aren’t more UI / UX / OSS experts out there, but I’m also not all that surprised if you know what I mean.

As with most of these breakfasts, we covered a wide range of topics. One of the interesting topics related to the uses of “personas” in UX design.

There was concensus that most OSS are designed with a single persona in mind, which is often the persona of an engineer / operator who will use it most frequently. Other types of users are often just accommodated around the primary design. You could even say that many GUIs aren’t even designed for the user experience of even one persona.

Ideally though, a product should be designed with multiple personas in mind. These could include operators, power users, administrators, business users, managers, etc. Each of these personas will have vastly different desired outcomes and approaches to interacting with the OSS so it makes sense that the user experience should be designed for each separately.

Makes sense lots of sense right? Despite this, I would’ve never thought to write about it here if it wasn’t brought to my attention by a UX expert. Does it make you wonder what other gems a UI / UX expert could bring to your OSS? Let me know if you’d like an introduction.

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