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Personas

Website designers often use personas to insure the design will meet users' needs. "A persona is a character sketch that represents a particular segment of the target audience," according to Steve Mulder, author of The User is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web.

"With personas website designers can focus on how the website will be used instead of how the technology should work. Instead of asking how a feature should work, the designer can ask, 'What would Francis do?'"

Seven personas were developed to inform the Library Website Redesign. They include one undergraduate, two graduate students, two faculty, a librarian and a visitor.

For those interested, the detailed personas are below:

Name: Adeeb
Age: 20
Location: Stanford campus - Toyon Hall (undergrad housing)
Job Title: Sophomore
What types of activities do they do online: Social sites, gaming, movies/music, Google Scholar for research. Uses Coursework to post assignments, discuss with other students.
What types of activities compete for their time: Social activities, classes, study, iTunes, South Asian men’s chorus and tour.
What activity would they perform on your site?

  • Look for practical information about the library (hours, study locations)
  • Find out where the Art Library is located and what does the Johnson Library does.Prints out map showing location of the libraries.
  • Goes to Art Library website.
  • Look for books on reserve for his class but he can only remember the instructors name and is not sure about how it is spelled.
  • Search for newspaper articles from his home town.
  • Look for an quick half page overview of a topic that that is mentioned in his textbook.
  • Search for book chapter related to a specific assignment or class (research guide, reserves)
  • Search to find 10 or 20 references on a topic for a 10 page paper assigned in a Humanities course.
  • Request help from a librarian at the front desks.
  • Look for the Subject Specialist Page for his humanities course.
  • Send an email to a librarian using the “ask us” form
  • Renew books (and related tasks - request an exception, find out how to return an item)
  • Pays fine for overdue book.
  • Look for a DVD to watch with friends

Name: Keiko
Age: 28
Location: Stanford campus - Escondido Village (graduate housing)
Job Title: Humanities doctoral student
What types of activities do they do online: Monitor websites of journals and organizations in her area of study. Google Scholar; Google Books. RefWorks to manage citations & bibliographies. Coursework to interact with her undergrads. Social sites in her free time. Facebook, twitter.
What types of activities compete for their time: Attends lectures; works as TA for two undergrad introductory classes. Exercise. Boyfriend.
What activity would they perform on your site?

  • Find primary sources (pictures from the archives, manuscript - original item); use advanced search
  • Finds out how many books she has out and when they are due. Renews them.
  • Do exhaustive searches for journal articles on her dissertation topic to find all academic articles ever written about it.
  • Search for dissertations from Stanford and other universities.
  • Find journal articles by typing in citations that she has pulled from other articles’ footnotes.
  • Find the most current articles on a given topic.
  • Request materials that Stanford doesn't own (inter-library loan) (filling out a form)
  • Request research assistance from a subject librarian either through the main site or one of the branch site or through a subject page
  • Find out who the subject specialist librarian is in her field and ask her in online chat for appointment to discuss access to an archive in Spain that she needs to visit.
  • Access commercial databases: find out if Stanford subscribes to a specific database; look for help with connecting (after they’ve already gained access the first time.... visit help page)
  • Apply for a dissertation room (fills out a form to reserve a study room. ends up on a waiting list)

Name: Frank
Age: 28
Location: Stanford campus - Escondido Village (graduate housing)
Job Title: Interdisciplinary Science and Social Science doctoral student
What types of activities do they do online: Monitor websites of journals and organizations in his area of study. Google Scholar; Google Books. RefWorks to manage citations & bibliographies. Review maps and GPS info for field studies, Coursework to interact with her undergrads. Social sites in his free time. twitter.
What types of activities compete for their time: Skis; works as TA for two undergrad introductory classes. Exercise. Girlfriend.
What activity would they perform on your site?

  • Search for information about research procedures used in his field.
  • Search for data sets to use in his research.
  • Search for maps and GIS info that he will use in his dissertation.
  • Do exhaustive searches for journal articles on his dissertation topic to find all academic articles ever written about it.
  • Find the most current articles on a given topic, or for a specific citation
  • Request materials that Stanford doesn't own (inter-library loan) (filling out a form)
  • Request research assistance from a subject librarian either through the main site or one of the branch site or through a subject page.
  • Identify relevent commercial databases: find out if Stanford subscribes to a specific database; look for help with connecting (after they’ve already gained access the first time.... visit help page)

Name: Christine
Age: 38
Location: Live in the CORC. Works at Sweet Hall
Job Title: PWR(Program on Writing and Rhetoric) Instructor
What types of activities do they do online: Manages her course using Coursework (online course management)(non-Drupal external system), searching the web for examples/resources (non-library specific), blogging & social sites (professional & personal), RefWorks to manage citations.
What types of activities compete for their time: Teaching, continuing research in her area in order to publish more, searching for a tenure track job, meeting with students, doing her own research & writing. Yoga. Family. Nice dog.
What activity would they perform on your site?

  • Search for materials to support her instruction including other syllabi, images, books, websites, videos
  • Contact librarians for help finding materials (subject librarians - through email)
  • Request materials that Stanford doesn't own
  • Place materials on reserve for a class (form)
  • Finds out about the exhibition at Green Library on Mexican political cartoons.
  • Creates or updates her course guide.
  • Follows link to Academic Computing to find out what is happening with the specialist who is supporting her in her teaching.

Name: Rozik
Age: 38
Location: Has office at home in Palo Alto, a startup and one in a campus building.
Job Title: Faculty Member
What types of activities do they do online: Checking on his courses using Coursework (online course management)(non-Drupal external system), emailing to faculty colleagues in other schools, writing articles for publication on Word, peer-reviewing articles for journals..
What types of activities compete for their time: Writing recommendations, going to conferences, on the board of two startups, interviewing applicants for new faculty position, sitting on two campus committees that meet monthly, meeting with students..Children in college.
What activity would they perform on your site?

  • Suggest book orders
  • Communicate with librarian about important new materials coming out in their field
  • Request materials that Stanford doesn't own
  • Oversee the teaching assistants as they set up course reserves
  • Read latest issue of important journals in his field.
  • Follow link to Hiwire Press to see about a journal for which he is on the board.

Name: Diane
Age: 40-something
Location: Stanford campus - Green Library
Lives: Sunnyvale
Job Title: Librarian
What types of activities do they do online: research to answer specific questions, find websites, contacts, etc.
What types of activities compete for their time: Responding to questions in person, or by phone/email/IM. Attending meetings. commuting, genealogy,
What activity would they perform on your site?

  • Search for answers to reference questions
  • Demonstrate to students how to use the site
  • Refer patrons (by phone, email, etc.) to pages that answer their questions
  • Find the library staff or department to handle a specific question
  • Create content
    • Post reference question Q&As on infocenter.stanford.edu
    • Create research guides for classes or topics
    • Describe specific collection areas for researchers

Name: Javier
Age: unknown
Location: Redwood City
Job Title: “Visitor
What types of activities do they do online: web research (they will typically have arrived at the site by finding a specific resource at Stanford via Google)
What types of activities compete for their time: unknown
What activity would they perform on your site?

  • Can I use the Stanford library? When is it open? How do I get there? Where is the closest parking? Can I get into the stacks?
  • I'm not a Stanford student, but you have this resource I need. Can you photocopy/scan it for me?