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WWRD? What Would Raj Do? Mary Beth Raven is talking about the latest "persona" they've created as part of their user-experience work. Raj is a Notes Developer. He's not real. He's what's called a "straw man" -- a stand in for the Domino Developers and Notes Developers out there. He's how the user-experience folks will be thinking about the day to day work process from the standpoint of someone doing that kind of work.
When I'm writing code, I frequently have a real person in mind for the user. I try to imagine them working with what I'm writing. This was particularly important for me with Second Signal. Mary Beth's team does this through a formalized process where specific individuals are defined and fully thought through.
I have a few thoughts about Raj, though.
1. Raj is clearly meant to be a representation of the power-developer for Lotus Notes. He's the classic 'tree hugger' in all of us. I don't see mention of the fact that Raj hates portal. Let me add that here. "Raj hates Portal. If he hears the word 'Portal' any further discussion or technical benefit being described is ignored. At Lotusphere, a mere mention of the word is likely to drive him from the conference room." There, that feels better. I'm sure Raj appreciates that.
2. Raj is sick of being stereotyped. He wants you to know he's not just another east asian I.T. guy. And frankly, he doesn't like Currie any more than you do.
3. Where has Raj been all this time? He must be a very quiet man. We're a terribly long way down the road of new products for this to be Raj's first appearance on scene.
If you have thoughts about Raj, let Mary Beth know. She's possibly the most powerful advocate for your day to day work experience with the Lotus Notes products.
May Beth's blog is here -- at least usually. Right now it seems IBM's got the entire Developer Works site off line for maintenance again.
By the way, the title of this blog entry would have been much more fun if "Raj" had been called "Jason".
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