Designing for complex IT environments based upon workflow analysis and managed field studies

CA Technology wants to design the right software products well. Their user interaction designers recently began interviewing end users in their workplace and developing archetypal descriptions of typical users called ‘personas’. The good thing about personas is that they encourage designers to take a people-first perspective, which is great most of the time. But, sometimes when the software being designed is for complex IT environments personas are not enough. This is often the case for CA’s business software. This research will expand on the popular persona approach. It will develop different types of personas that help designers to also keep the technological environment in mind because the people and the technology in a business environment are a single system. This will help CA Technologies to gain an industry advantage because business decision (which product to build?) and design decisions (which product design is best?) will be informed and grounded in typical users’ and their technological contexts.

Faculty Supervisor:

Robert Lewis Biddle


Judith Brown


CA Technologies Inc.


Computer science


Information and communications technologies


Carleton University



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