Projects/Usability/Principles/KDE4 Personas

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KDE4 Target Users

Introduction KDE4 Vision personas all.png

Introduction KDE4 Vision personas 1 office.png
Berna is working as an office clerk in a big insurance. Although a smart person, she is very unsure when it comes to technology.

Berna's major work is to check the details of insured events. She writes reports for her boss suggesting compensation payouts for the cases she deals with. Berna is a very precise person, and always solves her tasks accurately.

Berna twice lost several hours of work because she didn't understand the options she was offered. Since then, she has been very careful when probing new functionality.

Introduction KDE4 Vision personas 2 student.png
Matt is a geology student in the last year of his undergraduate studies. For him, technology is meant to take over annoying and repetitive tasks.

For his student research projects, Matt has to do extensive research on the web, and has to manage pictures of stones and other geologic material. He gains credits by using his notes to create reports and presentations.

Matt often struggles to keep track of all his notes. He is looking for an effective routine, so he can concentrate on the contents rather than on finding information.

Introduction KDE4 Vision personas 3 recreational.png
While Susan seldom uses her computer for work, it has become an essential part of her social life. With her computer, she can be creative and spread this creativity in the world.

She chats with her friends, shares music, playlists and other media, creates videos and uploads them to her web space, and runs a blog with her own style. She can't imagine a life without her laptop.

Still, she is a fun person and does not want to worry about technical details. She expects her machine to work.

Introduction KDE4 Vision personas 4 decision.png
Santiago runs a medium-sized business for electric installations. For him, technology needs to be comfortable and make him feel smart.

As a manager with engineering background, Santiago's major work is to negotiate with customers. However, to avoid costs, he administrates the small network in the company himself, including a file server and fifteen PCs for his office clerks.

He loves comfort and does not like to dive into manuals or use the command line to set up the small network. The system has to be reliable and easy to use, so his employees get along with it.

Introduction KDE4 Vision personas 5 geek.png
Philip is a college student in his last grade. Later, he wants to go to university to study computer science. He loves the challenge of making technology do what he wants it to do.

When he was 14, he started to probe different programming languages, and since then has implemented various different applications he published under free licenses. He is convinced of Linux and the benefits of free software.

Philip is fancy about technology and is never discouraged if something does not work as expected.

KDE4 Personas: Background

The question "Why should people switch to KDE?" was an important factor in the creation of our Personas – a crucial aspect if we want to extend the current user base. The "Technology Adoption Lifecycle" by Rogers (1962) deals with this question by splitting the overall user base in groups along a bell curve according to their willingness to adopt new technology.

Looking at the "Technology Adoption Lifecycle", you'll find the following user groups:

Introduction KDE4 Vision tal.png

We suggest to move away from the KDE is for everybody approach to KDE is for the more sophisticated 50% of computer users out there, who choose it because it perfectly suits their work and that they "want to have it".

Concentrating on this user base rather than everybody has both pragmatic and motivational reasons: Pragmatically, it will be hard to make KDE a favourite product for laggards and even the late majority within the next five years. Neither cutting away functionality nor hiding all the complexity behind Advanced buttons is an acceptable solution. Second, creating a desktop for ambitious users better fits the current motivation in the KDE development base. We don't want to be simple and stupid, we want to develop a smart desktop with rich functionality!

To avoid misunderstandings: KDE will still be an option for educational, governmental or large enterprise usage – but it won't be the main focus when developing the default desktop. KDE as a configurable framework can still be adjusted to meet the needs of any other user base.

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