Completeing the group project of generating a persona was an interesting example of the creative process at work. Normally, I am not too excited about teaching techniques that my instructors use. They are often too far removed from the content, or the information that is trying to be conveyed is not complicated enough to warrant such a project. The persona project, however, was incredibly helpful in explaining each aspect of a persona and an interesting way to look at web audiences. 

Since we were required to create someone out of thin air, we simply came up with a name at random: Sara. Once we had this, I quickly typed her name into Google Image Search and pulled up a decent picture. We jotted down some quick facts about Sara: 22 years old, works part-time, lives on campus at ODU, single, etc. When we came to the description, something strange started to happen. 

Sara became a person. She had dreams, goals. There were aspects of our make-believe University Library site that could affect her life. We started thinking about how and why she would be using the site. Tutoring, studying, using computers and other facilities and it became apparent how site design should be tailored to her uses. We gave her some quotes that indicate exactly what she wants out of the University Library's website.

This project was extremely helpful in understanding audience and how different groups approach the web in much the same way: they want relevant content fast. Not just content that is relevant to the site, but relevant to themselves.
 


Alexia Decker
01/31/2013 2:12pm

I'd like to begin by saying I enjoyed working on this assignment with you and the others. We all worked very well together and I was very pleased with the outcome of Sara's profile. Reading your blog, I enjoyed your description of how Sara became a real person. It's very interesting to think of it that way but also very true. As we went further and further along after coming up with her name, she truly did become a real person. Creating a persona definitely helps to consider your audience and I see myself using this method at some point in the future. I look forward to working with you more in the future!

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    Blaine Brown

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    Writer and master of all things tech. I also play a lot of video games.

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