2 thoughts on “Second-hand UX”

  1. I’ve been keeping these second-hand users in mind for a while, but mostly in terms of how they relate to the direct personas in Enterprise Software design. I tend to refer to them as “shadow personas” or “indirect personas”.

    They don’t directly interact with the product I work on, but their lives will be affected by the work done by the people who do. The lives of the people who do work with my product will, therefore, be affected by them in return. If I’m providing a means by which Alice can do something and put the result on Bob’s desk (or in his inbox), the persona who’ll do the work is Alice, but the person who gets the direct payoff is Bob.

    I can’t make Alice happy with my product unless Bob is happy… so I have to design as much for Bob as for Alice, even if Bob will never touch what I design.

    I hadn’t considered this in the sense of “person sat next to somebody using an app on their phone” before, but now that you’ve mentioned it, it’s just as true there. Can a user truly be happy using your progressive web app on their phone if their loved ones are staring at them with daggers in their eyes the whole time they’re using it?

    This article tells me it might be a good idea to dust off my old blog post on the topic (http://www.eggbox.org.uk/article/the-rise-of-the-shadow-persona/) and refresh it with some updated thinking. Thanks!

  2. From a monetary perspective, the answer is simple: Purchase and usage considerations do not end at how the product/service will affect the buyer. Considerations extend into how it will affect the things they care about (which transitively affect them)—most often being their relationship with other people.

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