Personas Resources

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This is a list of resources related to personas


User Stories

Telecom User Stories

1. Person with a visual impairment who faces major functional barriers (Paulina) - Description: Paulina (age 25) identifies as legally blind, has a psychology degree and is currently unemployed. She uses a PC laptop with a screen reader on a daily basis to edit documents, email and search the Web as she researches employment opportunities and volunteers for a community organization. To process printed documents, she uses a scanner with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. In her spare time, she plays in a band and enjoys listening to music.

2. Person with a visual impairment who faces moderate functional barriers (Elizabeth) - Description: Elizabeth (age 40) works at a non-profit that supports people with disabilities as they navigate government support programs. She has partly blurred and unclear vision, and finds it hard to read texts that do not have strong color contrast, so she has adapted her computer in ways that improve the visibility of information to her. She works on a PC with screen magnification software (Zoom Text), and uses high contrast themes as well as occasionally turning on a screen reader. With a long bus commute and a high workload, Elizabeth is interested in how a smartphone could help her get more work done on the go.

3. Person who identifies as Deaf and for whom sign language is a first language (Alex) - Description: Alex (35) works as a law consultant and lives with her partner and their two children. She is a heavy computer user, working more than 50 hours a week at her firm. She mainly keeps in touch with her clients over email as she is Deaf and her clients seldom speak her first language, ASL (although Alex can lip read). Alex's old smartphone is an important tool for her. She uses it to make ASL video calls to her partner. She is also a regular SMS and email user, so she really values the fact that her phone has a built-in QWERTY keyboard. She has not had success with speech recognition systems.

4. Person with a hearing impairment who faces moderate functional barriers (Edward) - Description: Edward (60) is a laboratory technologist. He has slightly diminished hearing, so he uses a hearing aid to understand what other people are saying. He previously bought a feature phone because of its apparent simplicity. He avoids using his feature phone in noisy environments, where it is often unusable to him. He also finds texting with the keypad difficult, especially as he gets older and his fingers get less agile, but he's wary of buying a more complicated phone with a QWERTY keyboard because he is unsure about the learning curve associated with using more complicated technology.

5. Person with mobility and speech impairments who faces major functional barriers (Jose) - Description: Jose (age 16) is a high school student who lives with his parents. Jose identifies with having Cerebral Palsy and has significant physical impairments that prevent him from controlling his hands or speaking as clearly as he would like. He uses a power wheelchair and his laptop that he carries with him. He controls both via an alternative input device consisting of three head switches attached to his wheelchair. The system allows him to type words using a scanning keyboard that are then spoken aloud by text-to-speech software. Jose is tech savvy and plans to attend university for engineering. Jose is looking forward to buying a smartphone because it will be easier to carry with him on his wheelchair than a laptop. In addition to making phone calls and texting, he wants to be able to use smartphone capabilities, like checking email, and updating Facebook.

6. Person with a mobility impairment who faces moderate functional barriers (Christine) - Description: Christine (51) is a university professor. She has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and causes her to experience muscle weakness and spasms in her arms and legs and, as a result, has difficulty typing for long periods. She does most of her work on a desktop PC and uses a trackball mouse due to difficulty controlling a conventional mouse. While she sometimes uses speech input, she wants to make productive use of her bus commute to the university, so she is also interested in a model that allows external keyboard input.

7. Person with a mobility impairment who faces moderate-to-major functional barriers (Julianne) - Description: Julianne is a 25-year old university student pursuing a double major in information studies and computer science on a part-time basis. In her spare time, she contributes code to a software project that produces accessible gaming software, as she is an avid gamer. Julianne has a Mac OS laptop, which she alternates between operating with Dragon voice recognition software and her mouthstick. Julianne also uses a power wheelchair that she controls with the use of a switch. She is interested in getting a smartphone but needs it to be usable with her mouthstick or voice controls. She would like to rely less her personal support worker's help for working around these and others accessibility barriers in the technology she uses.

8. Person with a reading impairment who requires alternatives to text (Ramin) - Description: Ramin (age 26) identifies with having a learning disability and experiences difficulty with understanding complex texts. He is employed as a childcare worker. Ramin lives with his parents and they support him with finding technology to best suit his learning style. Ramin uses his desktop computer to visit websites where he can play games and watch videos. Ramin wants a handset that will let him keep in touch with his family and friends via voice calls and symbolic SMS messages. He finds it easier to make calls when he can identify the person he wishes to call from their picture. Time management is a key skill that Ramin wants to improve, and he wants a phone that will allow him to set automatic reminders that will help him manage his time.

9. Person with a speaking and writing impairment who faces major functional barriers (Joan) - Description: Joan (50) lives with her spouse. After having a stroke, Joan acquired Broca's Aphasia, which changed her modality of expression. She now uses an AAC device in her day-to-day life. Through her AAC device, she expresses difficulty with using all forms of written and verbal expression. She owns a desktop Mac OS computer with Proloquo AAC software installed. Via browsing the Web, she learned that AAC applications could be used on smartphones. This seems promising to her, because she currently relies on a bulky device which is expensive and is heavy to carry around.

10. Person with a short-term memory impairment who faces moderate functional barriers (Peter) - Description: Peter (63) is retired, volunteers for a Multiple Sclerosis patient group answering questions on a mailing list, and lives in a supportive housing complex where he receives help managing his health condition. He has identified with having Multiple Sclerosis for almost 30 years and he experiences significant short-term memory loss. He has a feature phone that he uses to keep in touch with friends and relatives. He has asked his sister to program a speed dial option for him and taped a list of all the names and corresponding speed dials to his coffee table. He tried texting, but found it took long for him to compose a message. He experiences difficulty with remembering sequences of steps, such as the buttons that must be pressed in a proper order to unlock his cellphone. Peter is also a PC user (Windows XP). Enlarged, text/image icons on the Desktop help him remember to open his email client and Internet browser. He uses these applications to keep in touch with others on his Multiple Sclerosis volunteer mailing list.

11. Person with a cognitive impairment who faces moderate-to-major functional barriers (Eisa) - Description: Eisa (50) lives in an apartment and is assisted by a team of support persons that she hires for 15 hours a week to assist her with everyday living skills and employment support on the job. She works 5 hours a week as a grocery clerk, and volunteers at a library for 3 hours a week shelving books. Eisa has a speech impediment and is often frustrated that others misinterpret what she is saying, without giving Eisa an opportunity to speak and gesture what she wants to communicate. She has basic literacy skills and uses a laptop with a tutor to assist with responding to friends by email. In the past, Eisa has owned a feature phone and required a support person to explain all the buttons and the steps to get to her phone contacts and messages. Without this verbal assistance of her support team, Eisa would experience difficulty learning how to navigate her mobile device effectively An affordable mobile device that allows for clear visual and auditory navigation of basic tasks would be helpful to Eisa for she could do these independently, without personal support to assist her. Apps that allow Eisa to use a voice application to allow for speech output would be helpful to communicate her ideas to friends and to co-workers.

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