[Usability] Looking for some data on who we usability practitioners are - please contribute

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to gather some non-identifiable data (i.e. aggregate data) on who we usability practitioners are. The purpose is to help me develop some personas for use in a little side project that has come about on the Gnome usability mailing list [1] - an attempt to create a usability testing software suite.

To that end I have created a short survey [2] on SurveyMonkey to help begin gathering data for use in creating the personas. The intention is to not create personas modeled on specific people, but rather to collect data from a lot of people, identify commonalities, traits, needs, etc. These trends then get massaged into personas with the intention being that we can stop designing the software for a user that wants to do everything in every possible way (the "elastic user" problem). Instead we can focus on meeting the needs of the persona(s), and thus meet the needs of the people the persona(s) represent.

Anyhow, I'd love to see as many usability practitioners as possible provide some data. Even if you're just someone interested in the topic - this suite may need to have a novice user persona, and thus we need your input too!

If you know of any other places we can locate usability practitioners (ideally with a FLOSS leaning) then please forward this along, or send me the info and I can do so.

If you have any questions or concerns about this exercise, how the data will be used, or just want to discuss the use of personas, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for your time and help!


P.S. To re-iterate - the link is: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GCFPJ9L

P.P.S. I'm going to dent this link to http://twitter.com/hbons/open-source-design and send a message to the Ayatana contact [3] to try to get that group involved too.

[1] http://mail.gnome.org/archives/usability/2009-December/msg00016.html
[2] http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GCFPJ9L
[3] https://launchpad.net/~ayatana/+contactuser
Good place to begin thinking about personas: http://www.cooper.com/journal/personas/

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