This week we have been learning how to create a bridge from the problem-finding User-System sector of Corinne’s model to the solution-finding Establish-Realise side through the use of personas and storytelling.
By taking a group and using their characteristics to personifying our ‘User’ we will more readily be able to examine how they might react to changes in the system and preempt problems or predict resultant changes to user behaviour under different scenarios.
For our assignment this week we have been asked by Corrine to:
1.Move me with your own persona based on the system you observed. Tell me a story in a creative, detail-rich way in 100 words. Feel free to include photos, etc. The challenge this week is to be concise!
The system that I had observed was the (lack of) waste recycling in the post-grad cafeteria.
Here is my first persona, her name is Eve.
Eve is a 25-year-old post-graduate student living in the UK for the first time. She has just moved into a shared a house with other students and commutes to university by public transport. English is not Eve’s first language and she finds some of the differences in local customs confusing. Eve is vegetarian and considers environmental issues important. She would like to recycle more and is trying to find her local glass bank. Eve drinks bottled water and regularly buys coffee at the cafeteria. Eve is starting to find this expensive and is considering investing in a flask.
Having just written this persona I now realise that I had not considered the language issues in relation to the system I had observed. Does ‘landfill’ even make universal sense when translated? Do foreign students necessary understand what it means when they allocate rubbish to landfill? By adding a persona I have immediately identified another issue that I had not fully considered before: Language.
Reflecting on it more I am now thinking that perhaps if the university’s cafes offered a discounted option of ‘flask filling’ they could retain business that might otherwise be lost, reduce waste and incentivise customers with a suitable discount. There’s probably a whole load more issues that I could now consider to improve the system now I’ve got Eve.
The other thing I am thinking is that with regards to my observed system, to make it really work I would need to consider more than one persona. So, for example I could add Adam.
Adam is a 21-year-old British student living away from home for the first time. He normally drives to university and only occasionally uses the cafeteria, preferring instead to nip down to MacDonald’s. He has heard of environmental issues but can’t be bothered with recycling. In fact, he and his housemates have regular disagreements about washing up and whose turn it is to take the rubbish out. He normally drinks coke and discards the cans wherever is most convenient. Adam smokes regularly between lectures and likes to hang out with his mates in the Student Union bar.
I wonder what Adam would bring to the mix?