At the heart of goal directed design is determining what type of audience to expect. Personas offer an in depth look at potential users so that designers can create a usable space for a variety of demographics.
Since my project will link from the Naval Academy Museum’s website, which is hosted by the Academy’s site (usna.edu), I whittled down the likely users by drawing on my experiences. People likely trafficking the Academy’s main site include: Academy graduates(recent and elderly), potential students, and the reasonably tech-savvy parent or teacher.
- Academy Graduate: Captain Rupert Macdonald, USN (Ret), Class of 1956
- Male, age 80, Retired Navy Captain pay
- Rup likes to hang out with his grandchildren and tell them old war and Academy stories. He primarily gets online to use email and Skype to keep in touch with family and old friends. The grand kids are teaching him how to use Facebook and find websites since he is less mobile now. His family has been bugging him for awhile now to do an oral history and possibly donate some of his military items to a museum.
- On an average day Rup wakes up at 6 AM, reads for an hour, then takes a stroll around his neighborhood with his wife Gertrude. He and his wife Skype with the distant grand kids every couple of weeks, but since his daughter Kim’s family is coming for dinner he just gets on the computer after lunch to email. He forwards the funny chain emails and sends check ups with a few of his classmates. When the kids arrive, they pull up the newest YouTube clip to show the grandparents. Rup suggests the Naval Academy website and they start browsing the historical timeline.
- Most older graduates do just enough internet to get by these days. Therefore, the website needs to be intuitive and user friendly. I will try to use larger clear font for the navigational routes and titles. I also want to include items that will be pertinent to their experience, such as images from the Naval Academy during their time. Contact information should be available for anyone that is interested in visiting or donating to the museum.
2. Current and Potential Students: Steve Collings, High School Junior, Graduating in 2017
- Male, age 17, works part-time at Target
- Steve is a hard charging JROTC cadet who knew at the age of 13 he wanted to attend a military academy. He is applying to Air Force, Navy, and West Point, but prefers the Naval Academy. Steve is a three sport athlete and does most of his homework and internet searches on his iPad or laptop. He is interested in military history and loves to watch World War II documentaries.
- In an average day, Steve wakes up and goes to early morning drill practice and eats on the go before first period. During lunch he is meeting with a teacher to go over an assignment, since he won’t be in class because of a soccer match. On the bus to the match he studies for a test. After scoring the winning goal, Steve he chills out to music from his phone on the ride back.
- Like many young adults, Steve lives on the go and primarily uses mobile devices. He would be considered an expert in basic technology. A website could be more complex, utilizing more tools, and tagging to link a variety of topics. It is critical that the site be compatible with mobile platforms to reach today’s students.
3. The Reasonably Tech-Savvy Parent or Teacher: Fred and Carol Smith, Parents of Susan Smith, Class of 2017
- Fred and Carol, 57 and 59 years old, Fred works as a computer analyst at a local tech company for 60,000/year. He has a graduate degree in computer science. Carol is a part-time babysitter and caregiver for the elderly, making 37,000/year.
- They are so proud of their daughter that Fred continuously visits the Naval Academy website looking for photos of Sue and belongs to a USNA parents forum.
- While at work most days, Fred spends all day on the computer doing projects. Carol on the other hand is busy holding the baby Olive or caring for Alice. She only looks at her phone during nap time, when she visits Facebook. Once they both get home from work, Fred shows Carol the latest photo he found of Sue during his lunch hour. They plan on visiting her next month and seeing a football game. Since they know she’ll be in class when they arrive Friday, Fred and Carol plan on visiting the sites on the Yard.
- Most parent’s have moderate to high knowledge of technology depending on their job and education. It is important to connect the website to social media and other non-standard applicable sites. An easy to navigate site, perhaps by gallery would be a nice option for parents who tend to search by browsing. Information on visiting would be helpful for planning purposes.