GNOME personas


I just finished "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum" by Alan Cooper,
and was talking to Seth about it. The book proposes a specific
methodology using "personas" for judging and arriving at UI designs.
Both of us think this might work well for GNOME because it's pretty
straightforward and pretty concrete.

There are a lot of details, so I thought I'd send out this mail and
encourage people to find the book if they have some downtime over the
holidays. If lots of people read the book we can all have a common
frame of reference for discussion in January.

Here are a bunch of links on the subject I found in google, but I
think the book is better-written, more interesting, more entertaining,
and will give you a clearer idea of the suggested approach than
reading all this stuff. The book is fun to read and these links are
mostly boring, in other words. So I'd get the book.  But if you can't,
here are some links:

Anyhow, the end result if we do this will be to have mini-profiles of
a few fictional people posted on And for every
new feature we'll ask if it is good or bad for those people. For
setting priorities, we'll ask how we can help those people most. etc.
In short we'll have three concrete people in mind that we're writing
GNOME for. Could give us a lot of focus and direction, and a more
objective way to say which ideas are good and which are distractions.

So I propose that everyone who's interested try to read about this
topic over the next couple weeks, and once we all have enough
pseudo-expertise to be dangerous, we start trying to sort out who
we're writing GNOME for.


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