Revision as of 09:44, 26 October 2015 by Mbohlender (talk | contribs) (→‎HIG)



This is mainly a copy&paste from the KDE4 personas . They offer a good starting point that we want to refine over time.

The main area of application is in medium to large size companies and institutional organisations. So we talk about people like Berna (office worker) or Santiago (decision maker) as the primary persona. The secondary persona is the private user with average knowledge (Susan) but also those with special needs like mailinglists (Philip).

What might still be missing is the Persona for a "Roadwarrior"

Office Worker

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.

Recreational User

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.

Decision Maker

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.


We probably need to do some actual user research for this. Until then the "User Actions" section should be enough.

User Actions



Actions that are part of regular usage of Mail, and thus should be presented prominently in the UI

  • read up on new/important emails and decide what to do with them quickly
    • reply to sender/all/list
    • forward
    • move to trash / a favorite folder
    • mark as important/unread
    • Mark as spam (server side)
  • write new emails from scratch
    • select to/cc/bcc
    • spellcheck (instant)
  • switch accounts
  • open favorite folder


Actions which are not performed every day, but more often than rarely. Should be accessible when needed, but may take a few steps to execute

  • find specific old mail to look up some information
    • browse the folder hierarchy
    • Add a folder to favorite folders
  • manage email
    • move to any folder
    • tag (if we want that)
  • Show additional details for a mail (all headers, mail size etc.)

During email creation:

  • send as urgent
  • request disposition notification
  • attach file
  • switch signature insertion on/off
  • encrypt/sign (only if PGP/SMIME is configured)
  • format HTML mail


Actions that are performed only occasionally or only once at initial setup. Can be in separate UIs

  • setup / configure
    • account(s)
    • encryption
    • signature
    • spellchecker
  • create / manage filters
  • import / export mail




Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) offer application designers and developers a set of recommendations for designing and developing user interfaces. Their aim is to improve the experience for users by making application interfaces more consistent and hence more intuitive and learnable.


We have a good HIG for KDE created by the VDG. We should use them for the desktop applications.


There is also a KDE HIG for Mobile in creation. We could also think about following the Andorid HIG. Let us have a closer look at that when we start do design the mobile applications

This page was last edited on 13 November 2015, at 13:32. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.