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© 2008 INTRODUCTION OF USER PERSONAS TO SUNRISE ENGINEERING Sept 2008 Using Personas to Drive Design & Improve User Experience IxD / UI / UX Human Factors Engineer Craig Wilson For Avocent / LANDesk
© What is a Persona? A Persona is … …a user profile of the archetypical customer. …a fictional person based on real customer data who represents a segment of real users or system participants. …a resemblance of several people interviewed but does not exactly match any one of them.
© Why Personas? When engaged in the design process, many questions can come up: What features should be included? What is the commonality in our user base? Who are we building for, and what do they need? How do we avoid building features for just one user? How do we prioritize our features?
© Enter the Persona Personas help us: Focus on and obsess about our customers’ needs. Understand and differentiate between our users’ experiences to build customer loyalty. Answer questions that come up through the creation process. They build confidence, clarity, and continuity of strategy. Remove the phrase “I think” from discussions about what the users need. This focused design enables our users to understand our applications without hesitation.
© How Personas Help in the Design Process Personas identify new opportunities. When we understand the personas’ needs, we can design solutions to solve the customers needs. Support business-critical user goals. Personas provide a detailed understanding of user goals, their intents, and work practices. What’s critical to them—and how can we help them accomplish it. Prioritization. Understanding customers’ goals and behaviors can allow us to explicitly quantify the value of each persona to the business. This allows us to prioritize based on the most critical needs.
© Product Planning
© Where do Personas fit in?
© Meet Our Personas Lance Miller – LINUX-UNIX+ SYS ADMIN INFRASTRUCTURE “I prefer to use the command line. SSH is the main tool I use at work. I don’t like to wait for a browser to load for Administrative tasks. When I do use a browser I use Firefox because I pretty much consider Microsoft the ‘Great Satan’ and I avoid using Windows products at all costs.” KEY MOTIVATORS AND GOALS Keep the servers up. Lance is proud of his system “uptime” and his bonus is based in part on server availability. Solve it quickly and reliably. Lance doesn’t want to waste time loading a browser to access a remote server. CLI and SSH are his tools of choice. Be the answer man. Lance enjoys being recognized by his peers for code that he has written and has been integrated into other open source applications. A PERFECT DAY FOR LANCE: On a perfect day all of Lance’s systems are working smoothly, this means none of his system management software or scripts are showing any warnings or alerts. None of his users are calling with access issues, and he can complete his daily task list of reviewing logs and issues in one to two hours. These days are so few and far between the last one was...?
© Meet Our Personas Lance Miller – LINUX-UNIX+ SYS ADMIN INFRASTRUCTURE LANCE’S STORY: Lance is a Linux Geek. He became proficient in Unix in college, and then moved on to explore Linux after he graduated with his Computer Science degree in He has Linux servers on his personal network at home, and he prefers to use it at the office. He considers Windows slow and unreliable. He has been the Sys Admin in the data center for an import/export business for 5 years. He aspires to move into the network manager role at work, and currently reports to the data center manager. His responsibilities include the installation and maintenance of the OS and applications on company servers. He is always looking for quick-and-dirty ways to get his work done— sometimes by developing home grown applications using Perl, PHP, Python, JAVA, C, C++ and MySQL. He also works with many different open source applications. When things are slow at the office, Lance likes to stay on top of new technology. He reads Linux Magazine, Linux Journal and SysAdmin Magazines. He often reads InfoWorld and SlashDot through RSS feeds online. When he’s not at work, he likes writing open source apps and taking his wife and kids camping.
© 2008 Lance Miller – LINUX-UNIX+ SYS ADMIN INFRASTRUCTURE Lance is a target user of the ACS product line (and would be interested in serial access provided by other products) for the following reasons: He prefers to work from a CLI on his client machine as well as on the equipment he uses and servers he manages. He utilizes serial based CLI commands for his day to day requirements. He uses SSH to gain access to remote servers. He is really interested in a lot of the advanced features that are available through the ACS product. He likes the batch configuration tool (configACS) for scripting configurations for appliance and target device configuration. He uses Power management in situations where a remote power cycle is required. FROM THE DESK OF LANCE MILLER To do list: Monitor the health of servers and applications for availability and functionality Ensure that system monitoring tools are operating optimally Write and use scripts to check the logs for specific events Coordinate user access control into the Unix/Linux environments of the data center Facilitate and monitor backups of systems and restoration as required Use SSH to manage applications and servers from the OS command line as required Use NetClarity and Qualys to monitor the security and vulnerability of systems Receive RSS feeds on issues and patches for Linux and any applications in use Respond to issues found by the monitoring tool or information received to patch systems Utilize syslog to monitor of all of the infrastructure 10 HOW THIS AVOCENT PRODUCT BENEFITS LANCE:
© Meet Our Personas Lloyd Ball– LAB MANAGER AND ADMINISTRATOR “My test lab is a dynamic environment, I have to react quickly and be flexible to do whatever is necessary to get product delivered on time.” KEY MOTIVATORS AND GOALS Stay organized. Lloyd needs to know what assets are available for his users. Be fast, flexible, and deliver on time. Lloyd receives a small quarterly bonus based on customer satisfaction feedback. Plan for growth. Lloyd needs to ensure the lab can support the companies growing needs. Save the company money. Lloyd is compensated for finding ways to reuse company assets, and for optimizing processes. A PERFECT DAY FOR LLOYD: On a perfect day Lloyd spends his time successfully deploying development and test environments and responding to tickets opened by his customers. He continually identifies unused assets so that they can be retired or redeployed. When he’s not serving customers, he plans for future project deployments and implementing policy and processes to improve operations. Lloyd caters to local and remote users (including offshore), and he must provide as much remote control and autonomy as possible to his customers (developers and testers) as possible.
© Meet Our Personas Lloyd Ball– LAB MANAGER AND ADMINISTRATOR LLOYD’S STORY: Lloyd is a test lab manager for a software engineering firm. His company made him a good offer based on his previous work experience and his high grades in college. He graduated with his engineering degree in Lloyd reports to the engineering department—not the IT department. This gives him a certain amount of freedom in his job. As long as his customers are happy, he can pretty much do as he likes. Lloyd checks the calendar on his PDA often to keep up with his schedule. He is responsible for the entire test lab infrastructure—not only the servers, but also network, storage and OS/image deployment. Lloyd deals with the complete lifecycle of assets from acquisition to retirement and is responsible for capacity management within the lab. Lloyd is not responsible for applications, as his customers usually take care of that themselves. The tools he uses on a day-to-day basis include his home grown asset database, Ghost for imaging servers, and a network monitoring tool. If he can, Lloyd sets up virtual machines for his users. This allows his customers to share servers and to keep his footprint from growing every time a new project starts. Lloyd dislikes travel and works remotely to avoid it. When he’s not at work he enjoys watching Anime movies.
© Meet Our Personas Lloyd Ball– LAB MANAGER AND ADMINISTRATOR FROM THE DESK OF Lloyd Ball Lloyd uses many different types of hardware and appliances in the lab. He needs one application that allows him to access and control everything. Avocent can provide: Multi-role access to shared consoles. Discover y for new equipment that’s connected in the lab. Reports to check the status of the lab equipment Management for virtual servers. Power management in situations where a remote power cycle is required. Today’s to do list: Provision new test environments Decommission old test environments Perform capacity assessment Evaluate new products Improve operational efficiency Report status Test new tools, production processes and equipment WHAT CAN AVOCENT DO FOR LLOYD:
© Meet Our Personas Nick Nimitz – NETWORK & SECURITY ADMIN “My preferred user interface is certainly the CLI. I do occasionally use other GUI’s for reports and other tasks, but I prefer CLI because it allows me to script common tasks and link or integrate them into other tools.” KEY MOTIVATORS AND GOALS Keep the environment secure. Nick is proud of his teams response time to any security problems. He also gets a bonus if no money has to be spent on intrusion recovery. Be a hotshot. Nick is driven by his ego. He feeds his ego by mentoring his coworkers and showing off his knowledge of the latest security trends. Prevent outages. Detect and resolve any network issues before customers are affected. Plan for growth. Nick wants all of his infrastructure solutions to be for the long term. A PERFECT DAY FOR NICK: A perfect day for Nick consists of a day without any network or WAN outages. It doesn’t take long for him to review his daily logs. If there are no external attacks or hacking attempts, he spends time researching new products and technologies, or mentoring his team members. On a good day he spends time with network reporting tools to better understand the network characteristics and how to improve performance. (continued)
© Meet Our Personas Nick Nimitz – NETWORK & SECURITY ADMIN FROM THE DESK OF NICK NIMITZ To do: Use monitoring tools such as “What’s Up Gold” to monitor all networks, network interfaces as well as VPNs. Make sure everything is up and running for both internal and remote locations. Respond to any security alerts and warnings. Check security logs for any issues. Review network traffic and usage to identify possible degraded performance and take corrective actions if necessary. Keep the network infrastructure current with patches and OS upgrades. Manage changes in the network topology and routing configuration. Generate and review network usage reports and recommend changes as necessary. Include validating WAN bandwidths to remote locations and adjusting those as necessary. Respond to any security flashes to protect the network from any worms, viruses or other attacks as they occur from the public network. A PERFECT DAY FOR NICK: (continued from the previous page) Nick stays current on what is going on in the industry. He scans/reads Network World, Network Computing, Information Week and Communication News. He also reads techrepublic.com and the online Network World site (used to be NWFusion). He subscribes to several newsletters from Network World and Network Computing writers as well as some industry writers. He also has time to review hacking web sites to stay up to date on hackers are attacking networks.
© Meet Our Personas Will Foster– WINDOWS ® SYS ADMIN JR LEVEL “My main priority is to keep things running so that my customers don’t have a reason to complain.” KEY MOTIVATORS AND GOALS Server availability. Will focuses on supporting his SLA’s and aims to keep his customers happy. Be connected. Will needs remote access to manage servers around the clock. Troubleshoot the problem quickly. When a server is in trouble, Will is on the hot seat to get it up and healthy quickly. Upward mobility. Will is learning the tools of the trade to qualify for a Network Manager position. Will's STORY: Will was hired to do desktop support for a small IT shop while still attending community college. The employer was flexible during the day to meet Will’s class schedule and in return Will was often on-call late at night and on weekends. Will has several Microsoft certificates. He uses mostly GUI-based Microsoft tools to get his job done. Some of his responsibilities include installation and desktop support for Windows OS and applications. He was promoted a few months ago to Windows system administrator, so now he reports to the data center manager. His job is very hands-on with a lot of on-the-job training. He is also working on his CCNA certification to qualify for a promotion to Network Manager.
© 2008 Meet Our Personas Will Foster– WINDOWS ® SYS ADMIN JR LEVEL 17 WILL'S STORY: At home, Will and his roommate have several networked machines which get a lot of use playing multi-player online games (MMO’s). They have wireless capabilities on both stories of their townhouse apartment. His office pays the tab for their broadband connection so he can access the office network over the VPN 24/7. The downside to that is he gets 3 a.m. phone calls about downed servers—which is one of Will's biggest pet peeves. Will's typical workday involves scanning his to check on news about patches and vulnerabilities as well as responding to customer requests (complaints mostly). He spends a good chunk of his day reacting to server incidents. His customers are internal to the business so he hears quickly from them if there are any outages. His in-band tool of choice is RDP. He deals with some infrastructure such as Active Directory or Exchange servers. He spends a lot of time on the Windows support site at Microsoft.com. They are moving more servers to VMWare as it allows them greater flexibility and cost savings in allocating the server hardware. When he has time, he tests Microsoft patches (which MS sends out in bulk the second week of the month) in the lab before pushing these updates to his servers. He has downloaded Vista and Server 2007 plays with it in the lab. He’s not eager to send it live. He also reads TechNet, Network World, and Network Computing Magazines. When he has spare time, he writes a blog about online gaming.
© Meet Our Personas Will Foster– WINDOWS® SYS ADMIN JR LEVEL FROM THE DESK OF Lloyd Ball Will utilizes graphical-based tools for his work. Will uses the DSR product line. Will uses DSView® 3 Management Software to access and manage his servers. Will needs this access to reboot systems and access the BIOS settings of his servers. He has to recover when the servers stop responding or display the “Blue Screen of Death.” When performing maintenance Will also needs local access to servers in the rack. He uses Power management when a remote power cycle is required. To do: Monitor the health of 30 servers and applications for availability and functionality Manually review system logs, system status (disk space, etc.). Use “What’s Up Gold” for some basic monitoring. Manage user access and passwords via Active Directory. Facilitate and monitor backups of systems, and any restoration as needed. Use RDP for some tasks use KVM over IP to install software. Respond to any technical support issues (serves as a Level 3 escalation point) for users and applications when issues are presented by the help desk Monitor the fire walls and security policies for security. See if Microsoft issued any patches. Stay late on the second Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the month in preparation of pushing out new patches. Make sure the latest anti-virus data files are updated from the vendor. Check the antivirus logs to make sure that scans have successfully completed. Discuss with the Network Manager issues such as DHCP, DNS, etc. to learn more about the network. HOW THIS AVOCENT PRODUCT BENEFITS Will:
© Conclusion Personas help give us insight into how we can fulfill our customer’s needs and goals. Personas are being integrated into our workflow process to assist in making design decisions that are based on real customer data. Personas help us prioritize what we need to deliver to our customers.
© Links & References Interesting links, source materials, and other related items: Pragmantic Marketing: Cooper Design: Forrester: How Personas Drive Experienced-Based Differentiation: Four Examples LANDesk Personas: LANDesk Human Factors Site: For more information please visit the HF Sunrise page on the intranet: hf/default.aspx
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