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Example set of personas

This set of personas was constructed as a training tool. They represent a family of four generations. The important factors to note are:

  • The variation in capability between the different personas
  • The influence of lifestyle and life stages on product use
  • The aspirations for each persona, and hence the motivations to achieve different tasks with different products
  • The position of each persona within a family or social network

Each of these factors will impact on the persona's approach to, and interaction with different products. The following personas are presented on this page:

Further information

The Designing with people website has a section on People where ten real people with differing degrees of functional loss speak about their lives, their challenges, their relationship with design and the impact that poor design has on them.

Jenny

Jenny is a 29 year old single mother to Jack and Ellie.

Going shopping as a family is always an adventure. Ellie is curious about everything and often wanders off in a world of her own, unaware of where her mother is, while Jack longs to run around and often tries to escape from his buggy. Two active children, a buggy and bags of shopping do not make for an easy or comfortable bus journey!

Jenny’s time is incredibly precious to her and so she has little patience with anything that unnecessarily wastes her time. One night a week she manages to escape to her aerobics class, while the children’s grandparents baby-sit.

Jack and Ellie

Jack is an 18 month old child. Jack is now walking, but can’t go far – and rarely in the direction you want him to! He frequently objects to being put in his buggy, as he finds it far more exciting to walk himself.

Around the house, objects have to be put out of his reach if they are fragile, potentially dangerous or could be used as a ‘weapon’ for attacking his sister Ellie.

Although Jack is at a delightful age, he is also quite time-consuming to look after as he’s constantly absorbed with learning about his environment.


Ellie is a 4 year old child. Ellie has just left part-time nursery and started her foundation year at the local school. She is rapidly becoming more independent. Ellie is obsessed with anything pink or related to Barbie or Girls Aloud and would happily dress as a ballerina or fairy every day if she could.

Ellie is learning to read and attempts to read everything she can around the house. She is at an impressionable age and wants very much to be part of the ‘in-crowd’ socially.

Carol

Carol is a 57 year old grandmother. Carol has a part-time job in a local arts and crafts shop. She is currently learning to use a computer to help out with enquiries that come through the shop’s web site.

She is normally very active but has recently been hampered by a broken wrist sustained in a fall. Although she usually deals with problems in an optimistic and positive manner, she is finding the plaster cast very cumbersome. Many everyday tasks are now difficult and time-consuming.

Carol is particularly frustrated by not being able to help and play with her grandchildren as much, especially as Ellie desperately wants her grandmother to finish the fairy costume she’s been making for her.

David

David is a 60 year old grandad. Recently retired, David spends most days pottering around the garden and playing golf. At weekends, he enjoys walking in the countryside with his wife, Carol. He is currently searching for a walking holiday for them on the Internet.

Although generally fit and healthy, David has become hard of hearing, but struggles to accept it. He does have a hearing aid and, like his reading glasses, it is another thing that Carol often has to search for.

David doesn’t see himself as old, particularly as he helps care for his mother-in-law, Rose.

Rose

Rose is an 83 year old great grandmother. Rose lives 15 minutes drive away from David and Carol. Although fiercely independent, she struggles with everyday tasks like shopping, cooking and housework. Carol and David need to come round most days to help.

She still greatly enjoys an active social life - including her regular bridge and quiz night every week and going out for meals with the whole family.

Unlike David, Rose has come to accept her hearing aid as a necessity. She has worn reading glasses for many years and always carries them with her.

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