Persona Development for Force.com
Salesforce.com August 2008 - December 2009 / Global Survey September 2010
The Force.com Platform Team was interested in understanding more about the inner workings of environments where Force.com development was happening in order to inform a wide variety of the company’s platform-related efforts.
The creation of this set of persona artifacts was the first step taken to make enterprise product improvements for those in the ecosystem engaged in customization work for their Salesforce.com instances.
To further flesh out key details distinguishing Force.com Developers and Salesforce Administrators - and to rethink how to segment, describe, and label users in this domain space - a global survey was distributed to all individuals self-classifying as a Developer or Admin.
Given the administrative tasks surrounding the the preparation of customer site visits, including being at the mercy of customer availability, it was critical to properly scope the initial data gathering. We wanted to understand the dynamics and key roles but not spend inordinate amounts of time on exploratory interviews. With such a green field, we aimed to get to the heart of the barriers to success from all corners of the domain, including Administrators, Vendors, and Developers.
User Research Lead
Senior Usability Analyst
Platform Product VP
Platform Product Directors
A breadth-focused understanding of primary Force.com end users, persona poster artifacts and a “day-in-the-life” media-rich presentation supplied to R&D for distribution and reference
A segmentation survey that specified details about experienced developers as well as Salesforce Administrators tasked with customization/development work
Field Research - Segmentation Survey
1 Exploratory Field Research
Execute a systematic set of site visits to a defined set of customers and partners for
Exploratory field research was the first qualitative effort to define representative users in the domain, covering three contexts: internal development by enterprise customers, use of approved development vendors, and the world of the independent consultants. Participants were employed by customer IT departments and their vendors in three different geographic regions in the US.
We discovered high degrees of complexity across enterprise orgs given the dynamic nature of an evolving product and platform. We also uncovered activity frankly difficult to categorize. Vendors, customers, and entrepreneurs alike saw the market opportunity to build, package, and sell custom apps on the AppExchange. Developers were acting administrators of their apps and custom orgs. Administrators were attempting to tackle advanced customizations for their Salesforce orgs. Vendor business was booming given the volume of Salesforce platform-based work and a shortage of skilled workers. In order to wrestle down the large volume of data, our North Star was the need to inform the growth and maturity of our platform tools as well as the training and resources available to customers.
Images from the Field Research Phase
Salesforce.com Consulting Vendor