Following close on the heels of Trafcom News Podcast 118, which was an interview with Jarrod Gingras about successful enterprise collaboration, comes this chat with Gordon Ross. When I met Gordon at the IntraTeam Event in Copenhagen, I was intrigued by his workshop on archetypes for intranets. Since Gordon’s topic meshes so nicely with Jarrod’s, I’m publishing them rather close together. [Note: The first speaker I interviewed from the IntraTeam Event was Paolo Tosolini, on enterprise social video.]
The interview with Gordon explains the use of archetypes in internal communications, and the benefits of taking the time to do this work up front. Gordon is a vice president and a partner at Open Road, a company in British Columbia that designs and develops websites and custom Web applications. He has worked on some interesting projects recently, including a customer portal for BC Hydro, Web strategy for the City of Vancouver, the redesign of Mountain Equipment Coop’s e-commerce website, and many others. Gordon provides strategic input for Open Road’s well-respected social intranet product, Thought Farmer.
Here are the show notes:
[00:01] Introduction and welcome; about Gordon Ross, Open Road and Thought Farmer
[01:30] Interview with Gordon Ross includes:
- Definition of archetypes as “a typical example of a person or a thing”
- An archetype is not a stereotype, but rather describes characters we recognize in the corporate world.
- An archetype differs from audience segmentation.
- The “average” user is not of interest; Gordon shares an excellent example of two males born in 1948 in Great Britain, married, successful …
- Why archetypes? Consensus building; common focus gives us insights into the audience.
- Personas are more functional, while archetypes are more related to the culture of an organization.
- A walk through the process of developing archetypes.
- Examples of negative consequences of not doing archetype work up front; the danger of self-referential design.
[17:25] Where to send comments; email donna at trafcom dot com or comment here on the show blog.
Helpful links from Gordon Ross:
- Archetype Extraction method, Cognitive Edge
- Perfecting your Personas, Kim Goodwin – Cooper Design
- An introduction to personas – Step Two Designs
- Service Design for Intranets – PebbleRoad
- Making the Most of Story Work, Anecdote
- User Matricies – Steph Troeth
Theme music for Trafcom News Podcast is “Beneath Your Surface” by the Elisabeth Lohninger Quartet from Music Alley.