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Re: User Profiles



On Fri, 2009-11-20 at 15:37 -0500, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> I'm going to bounce back some ideas below.  As you read them, can you
> tell me what would be the best way to capture them in discreet bits
> that help with this profiling task?  I don't know whether that means
> just bulletizing in notes on the wiki and figuring it out later, or
> stating them in some separate, well-understood way that's specific to
> user profiling.
> 
> > Paul announced the Board's current working definition of Fedora's target
> > audience in his 26 Oct 'Target audience' mail to this list [2]. I think
> > this definition does a fine job of linking back to the goal of the
> > project. That target audience definition with my inline comments on its
> > relevancy to our goal is as follows:
> > 
> >  (1) Someone who is voluntarily switching to Linux
> > 
> > Our strategy is not to force anyone to use Fedora. It's not going to
> > come pre-installed on your computer. Maybe a better way of stating this
> > point though is, "Someone who voluntarily wants to try another way of
> > running their computer." It doesn't necessarily have to be Linux. The
> > main point here should be, the target audience needs to be open to a
> > change in how they use their computer. We are trying to lead the
> > advancement of free software, and the folks most likely to switch to
> > free software (advancing it through greater ubiquity) are those who are
> > not afraid to undergo some change. (Let's make the change as painless as
> > possible though!) 
> 
> So you're saying this person (we should come up with a name!) is
> interested in "another way" generally, and not FOSS or Linux in
> particular.  That sounds sensible to me, because it is possible for
> people to contribute who don't *yet* understand how FOSS works.  We do
> want someone who is open-minded about it, because if she's not, she
> likely wouldn't spontaneously change.  (And maybe wouldn't be
> interested in this other way in any case.)

Well, it's not a specific person per se; it's going to be a
characteristic shared by potentially multiple personas in the same
target group. To be clear, we may well end up with 3-8 different
personas to represent this target audience. And that's perfectly
fine. :)
> 
> But yet, we're not looking to exclusively target tinkerers, "looking"
> to change their computers for arbitrary reasons.  Would it make sense
> to describe *why* she wants to change?

Hmm... I think that is a good idea, to understand why they want to
change. I'm not sure though if it's something that is dictated by the
target audience definition, or something that we determine via user
research.

To be honest, I was thinking about the type of person who might read
about Linux or some piece of free software on a site like lifehacker.com
- and the implicit reasoning for change there is to make your life
better / easier / simpler. So if we want to take a stab at a reason in
the target audience definition, that's one potential one we could throw
out htere.

We may not need to decide on their reason for changing now, however.
Remember our goal is to get our target audience to change to *us* - is
it important to our goal why they want to change yet? Do we know enough
about the reasons someone would want to change to determine which of the
'changers' we want to target to in order to meet our goals? Certainly,
"Why would you consider changing your OS" might be a good high-level
research question to pursue with a sampling of target audience members. 

> > I interpret point #2 to mean that if you're familiar enough with
> > computers to comfortably place an order with Amazon.com, you should be
> > in our sights. 
> 
> Here's what I was thinking about this point, and this may not be at
> odds at all.  (I like your interpretation too.)  This person by
> definition has to be someone who's comfortable with sticking a DVD
> into their system, and potentially writing over part or all of their
> hard disk.  They'd need to understand the potential impact of an
> installation.  I'm not saying that it's then OK to go nuts and
> surprise them, just that the person needs to be comfortable with the
> idea that they are going to perform an action on their computer, as
> part of installation, that many people don't do.  (Well, more of them
> do it these days than should have to, but that's another story.)

For hard disk installation, it needs to be someone who has permission to
write over the hard drive potentially, which means Sharon's 5th grade
son George who uses her computer to do his homework on is probably not
in the target audience. But when George gets his own computer upon
entering high school, it's his to explore. So maybe we need to add to
the definition that our target audience needs to exclusively own and
control a desktop or laptop computer (since if they share their computer
'roommates' may not appreciate change :) ). If it's a shared computer,
it really needs to be the primary computer owner / head of family making
the changes.

This is definitely an important refinement on the 'Amazon.com purchaser'
interpretation.

> For example, Trent Reznor doesn't want to hack on his computer, he
> wants to make music.  But he's certainly interested in spreading
> free/libre code and content, even if it's in service of just shaking
> up the norm.  OK, maybe you don't buy that example because Trent's
> looking for music-making capabilities we can't yet provide.  My point
> being someone like this is certainly not a developer but the ideas we
> put into practice in Fedora should sound appealing enough for Trent to
> say, "My music tracks are all backed up on that other disk over there,
> so they're safe, and if I hate this new thing, I'll just restore this
> system anyway."

Absolutely. It seems like we're already fleshing out some inflection
points to dictate specific within the target audience. A free/libre
content creator who wants to make sure his content is not lost when he
tries this new OS and also that he can work his content in the new OS.
> 
> And yes, I understand that Live USB might invalidate part of this
> characteristic I'm describing.  Is it possible to capture the
> characteristics for a persona using Live USB at the same time as we
> capture those for this other persona?  Can they be the same?  Do they
> need to be the same?

Absolutely. This is an inflection point that could determine the
boundary between two different personas in this target audience:

- George who is a 5th grader who wants to play Tux Racer on a Fedora USB
stick with his friends without getting in trouble with his Mom for
erasing her hard drive.

- Sharon who can't afford the $$$ Adobe Creative Suite but would like to
install Fedora on the family computer for her artistically-inclined son
to be able to try the many FOSS graphic design tools available. She
obviously doesn't have to worry about 'getting in trouble' for
installing Fedora. :)

> 
> >  (3) Someone who is likely to collaborate in some fashion when
> > something's wrong with Fedora.
> > 
> > This collaboration can be as simple as filing a bug report using abrt or
> > posting a comment on a Fedora-related blog or news article. We want to
> > advance free software as a collaborative community, so focusing on folks
> > who are willing to collaborate, even just a little bit, to give back, is
> > important to advance that goal. This is not to say we shouldn't work on
> > tools such as abrt to make it easier for them to collaborate with us.
> > Just that they need to be receptive to engaging with us. I think this
> > statement could be further refined - you can collaborate when there
> > isn't anything wrong with Fedora as well, by blogging about Fedora or
> > talking about Fedora at a local LUG meeting or technology fair.
> 
> Good point indeed.  In all the cases of Fedora you list above, I see
> that communication is the common point.  What about something like
> this, that's less charged?
> 
> (3) Someone who is willing and able to communicate about their
> experiences with Fedora.
> 
> ...which captures the same idea, but is broad enough to capture a
> broad spectrum of activity, from bug reporting to Ambassadorial work.

I like this much better! Is it okay if I update it on the wiki?


~m


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