Who is the user? #blogjune

I have been involved in a project at work to showcase the history of our organisation. It has been a fascinating fact-finding process and one of the highlights has been to talk to staff and students who, over the years have been a part of the university. Hearing snippets of information about Very Important People has also been a highlight too :).

How the digital showcase was to be structured was a story in itself. The team met for the first time and wrangled with the question- how would people discover the stories? Members of the team wanted different ways- a search facility, a way to filter stories relating to a particular campus, or using keywords to jump to related items.

The challenge be of this was that the display was to be mounted as a touchscreen format, with no keyboard, so the navigation had to be as simple as possible.

“But if it were me wanting to use it, I would do this…”

It was really hard to disassociate the online showcase from a typical desktop experience, where you could interact and query the information with a keyboard. It was also really challenging not to think of oneself as the typical user.


While the typical Tube user may not be a Dr Who fan, they know the value of a Tardis when travelling 🙂

How often do you think how a user will interact with your services when you are in the process of designing them?

Do you have a clear vision of who your users are? Many businesses use personas, or visions of a particular user type to help them structure how a service will be accessed and used. 

Should libraries be developing personas to help them design services more effectively?




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