Audrey is an ISTJ – Applying Personality Types to Design Personas

I’ve been interested in “Personality Types” for awhile now, having first been introduced to the concept when I took the MBTI in grad school. This weekend I spent some time with the Kindle version of Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David Keirsey — my energy for applying this to UX was sparked.

Image of Persona - Audrey


I wondered if I could start mapping personality types to our UX design personas. Here’s this morning’s stab at Audrey. She is a design persona we developed out of our research and experience with people who work with some of the Tripwire products.

As a part of her daily responsibility, Audrey is responsible for configuring, monitoring, and maintaining the technologies associated with Information Security.

She is interested in clarity and knowledge. Audrey prefers to observe and listen, and has a particular interest in facts and information which helps her to develop as clear a knowledge as possible. She likes to know where she stands — in other words — she needs clear goals to which she is working. She also needs to know that what she is expected to do is achievable. Audrey values her direct experience — that guides her decision making.

Even though Audrey has to interact with people, she prefers to focus on her own inner world? Like many people who are have careers in Technology — computer programmers, specifically, we think Audrey has a preference for Introversion(I). From a product standpoint, she appreciates tools that allow her to communicate efficiently and remotely — with simple explanation that does not require face to face contact or lengthy discussion.

She very much prefers to focus on the basic information she take in rather than interpreting and adding meaning to the information. She is pretty black and white about rules and regulations. When she gets data, she has a mental list that she checks off before she makes a decision. She is not likely to make exceptions to rules. This trait is common to people who are prefer Sensing (S). From a product standpoint, she needs data delivered in a way that allows her to quickly see only the information she needs to see so that she can act on it.

It follows that when Audrey makes decisions, she prefers to first look at logic and consistency before considering people and special circumstances. This is called Thinking (T) — interesting for HER since this is the only trait that is Male biased. (Females are 60% more likely to be iNtuitive).

Audrey is also very structured in the way she has dealings with the outside world. She prefers to get things decided — it makes her uncomfortable to stay open to new information and options. This is called Judging (J). From a product standpoint, Audrey is not likely to dig around looking for clues like her colleague Ferris.

Audrey has goals.

So we think Audrey is an ISTJ.

Applying what I read in David Keirsey’s book, she is probably quiet and serious (we picked a good image for her). She earns success by leveraging her natural thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible, Audrey decides logically what should be done and works toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. She values traditions and loyalty. She takes pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – her work, her home, and her life. Let’s hope she meets a nice ESFP!

Take the Jung Typology Test: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp