Session 5 : Personas and Audience Analysis


  • Geek Speak
  • Personas and Audience Analysis Discussion
  • Next Week’s Assignment
  • Workshop on Nov 20


  • Cookies (State Management – Dacia)
  • RSS (Dominique)
  • XML (Elizabeth)

Discussion : Personas and Audience Analysis

Assignment 1:  In your pairs, look at the government sites. Pick one. Develop a more detailed set of personas (at least three) than you did last week. Pick a task that fits one of the personas. Test the task — capture clicks, backtracks, etc. Post details here as a comment. Remember to “sign” with the names of your team. If your partner isn’t here tonight, find a twosome to join! (Unless there are two people absent.)

Assignment 2 : Solo, review the reading on competitive analysis. Think about the site you are building for this class. Then in pairs (next door neighbor works for this), begin discussing:

  • What are the criteria you are going to use to “judge” effectiveness of design? Aesthetics? Functionality?
  • Who are possible audiences (name three – with some detail)?
  • Find at least possible three competitive sites; explain why they are competitors. What are design or content ideas you want to borrow? Avoid?

Post this initial analytical document to the course blog before we get together on Sunday Nov 20. This is a post, not a page; category is “assignments”

Next Week’s Assignment

Before Workshop on Nov 20

  • Research themes – Look on as well as free theme sites. Identify 2-3 themes that appeal to you. Think about what you might want to change/tweak. Make a note of the URLs. 🙂
  • Research plugins – There’s a list from Workshop 1. Think about the kinds of functionality you want on your site and look for those plugins. Make a note of their URLs. We’ll share this information — crowdsource functionality, so to speak.
  • Review chapters in your HTML book on CSS.
  • Review chapters in your HTML book on fundamental tags: HREFs (links) and IMG (images)
  • Assignment 2 (above)



Before Our Class On Wednesday 9 November

Before Our Workshop On Sunday 20 November

Course Name Level Duration Released
CSS Fundamentals   03h 12m 09/2011    
WordPress 3 Essential Training   05h 36m 11/2010    
Photoshop CS5 for the Web   05h 59m 07/2010    
XHTML and HTML Essential Training   04h 44m 07/2009    
Web Site Planning and Wireframing: Hands-On Training   02h 28m 03/2009  

About Kathy E. Gill (@kegill)

Digital evangelist, writer, teacher. Webmaster at King County Elections; educator at UW. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill,,

9 responses to “Session 5 : Personas and Audience Analysis”

  1. Cherilyn Winkler says :

    Things we would like to see on Election websites:

    -appeal to at risk voters (those who might not vote if it is too difficult) such as the elderly
    -date and how to vote front and center
    -different languages to translate the page
    -more visually appealing, easy to click buttons
    -visually impaired accessible
    -king county ballot tracker = cool
    -line status at polling location
    -short bullet list for each side of the issue

    Lisa, Joanna, Janae, Cherilyn

  2. Lisa says :

    From Dominique and Lisa:

    Website: National Parks Service:

    Persona: Joseph is a 7th grader from Texas doing a report for school on a National Historic Landmark in his state. He needs to find out a local landmark and write a short paper about it and give a presentation with images.

    Joseph googles National Historic Landmark in Texas. It pulls up Wikipedia for the first two entries, but his teacher said “do NOT use Wikipedia.” Despite his teacher’s admonition, he clicks on the Wikipedia link and sees that the National Historic Landmarks are run by the National Park Service. He then clicks on National Park Service which goes to their Wikipedia page, and then sees the link to their website. He sees the tab call “Discover History” and clicks on it. He scrolls down and sees a link to the “American Battlefield Protection Program” but sees that it’s a lot of boring text and clicks the back button. Then he navigates to the left and clicks on “For Kids” but sees the image is of a younger kid and goes back. He then clicks on “Places” and sees that it is about National Historic Landmarks. He clicks on the “Quicklink” to National Historic Landmarks and it takes him to the site for the National Historic Landmarks Program. He clicks on “Texas” from the list of links and it takes him to a PDF of black and white text listing all 46 landmarks. The second one from the top is “Apollo Mission Control Center.” He copies the text and then clicks the back button and pastes it in a search bar. He gets a “File Not Found” page. He gets frustrated, goes all the way back to the original Wikipedia page and writes his report from that.

    • Lisa says :

      Our other personas:

      Persona 1: Ralph is an avid outdoorsperson who enjoys camping for vacation. He lives in Cincinnati and is looking for a national park within one day’s driving distance for a weekend camping trip. He wants to be able to book a campsite online.
      Persona 2: Judy is a mom with two kids ages 5 and 8. She lives in Roanoke, Virginia and is looking for information about a national park for a day trip. She hopes it has kid-friendly activities, information about hours and fees, within an hour drive or so of her home.

  3. Elizabeth W says :

    Elizabeth and Cherilyn,

    Smithsonian Blog –

    Three Personas:

    – German tourist
    College educated, 35 years old, father of 2, researching for a visit next month

    – Teacher
    27, female
    8th grade history teacher, searching for material to use in class related to current events that would interest kids

    – Art history professor
    52, male, salt and pepper hair, glasses
    Reads for personal pleasure/research and subscribes to RSS feed

    For task, the art history professor visits site to find information related to Ming Dynasty collections.

    – Types “ming dynasty” in the search box on the blog front page.
    – Automatically searches collections, not the blog.
    – Return back to the blog front page.
    – Next tries the “Asian” tag label to search for related blog posts.
    – Scrolls through all blog posts that come up.
    – Too many posts to sort through–attempts using CTRL+F and searching page for dynasty.
    – Nothing comes up.

  4. Thor Tolo says :



    Frank, a fishing enthusiast, has moved here from New York to open his bait & tackle store in Chelan, where he will sell fishing licenses to customers. He has retired early at age 55, having made his money on Wall Street. Frank wishes to live above the store. He’ll buy a cabin outside the German town of Leavenworth, where hunting is convenient.

    Angela, a frustrated taxidermist who tired of stuffing dead animals, wants true adventure in her life – loves to bow hunt and wishes to start a gun collection. She also wants to purchase a hunting rifle for deer season. At 35, she is young enough to ride out the recession by buying a modest home – but, as a felon, she may have trouble securing a hunting weapon.

    Sarah, a devoted conservationist who wishes to care for injured sea lions and other marine animals, is hoping to obtain a wildlife control operating certificate. Sarah now makes ends meet as a waitress at Ivar’s. She is a 45-year-old single mom and former Secret Service agent who wants to slow down her life and be an extra on the remake of Twin Peaks.


    After opening his bait & tackle store in Chelan, Frank needs information about protocol for become a fishing license vendor. As a retiree, he needs to know Washington State law (as a transplant) as it relates to rules and regulations governing fishing and hunting.

    After searching Bing, Frank comes across the WA State Fish & Wildlife website and begins a search pertaining to becoming a license vendor. Unfortunately the site designers appear to be beyond incompetent, yet there is a phone number with which to follow up.

    As a hopeful resident of the same building in which he works, he needs to familiarize himself with state regulations for residence/place of business guidelines.

  5. Ting Kang says :

    Kat, Ting

    3 personas:

    1. Soccer mom Jennifer, 40, three kids (3, 6, 10), the oldest is going to learn from city government for a badge, so Jennifer goes to the site to discover for him, such as who the mayor is, city council members, how they run the city, etc.

    2. Evan, 25 years old man, unemployed, he was arrested for a DUI, he is searching for information of a public defender

    3. Joe, 72 years old man, wants to search for local constructions of his neighborhood

    For the task, what Evan did:

    • Google search on “Seattle courts DUI”, go to
    • Click “obtaining public defender” in the right side bar
    • Get links and phones numbers, for defense services

  6. Joanna M. says :

    Smithsonian Collections Blog — Personas: Ruba, Marina and Joanna

    Rose is a 19-year-old History Major at the University of Washington that needs to do research for her final deliverable on Egyptian treasures.
    Hometown: Seattle, WA
    Hobbies: Drink beer, hike, active in her sorority, date around, likes to read the Twilight

    Mint is a 60-year-old antique dealer from New York that has an Egyptian necklace and wants to learn more about its history.
    Hometown: New York, NY
    Hobbies: Drink whiskey, watches theater, likes to peruse flea markets

    Hyacinth is a 39-year-old mom from Kansas City planning a family trip to Washington DC and wants to introduce her eight children (ages 1-9) to Egyptian hieroglyphics.
    Hometown: Kansas City, KA
    Hobbies: Drink strawberry cordial, drive kids to ballet, reader of Joan Collins, divorced

    Task: Hyacinth wants to plan a long weekend in Washington DC with her kids and wants to find out in advance what current exhibits are featuring Egyptian artifacts:

    *Hyacinth’s child’s friend’s mom told her to check out the Smithsonian Collections Blog

    *Hyacinth types out the Smithsonian Collections Blog into Google and finds it right away

    *Hyacinth clicks Smithsonian Collections Blog link and the homepage pops up

    *Hyacinth types into the search bar “Egypt Exhibit”

    *The site pulls up a variety of artifacts and ongoing exhibits

    *Her eye catches on the mummy collection photos and clicks the underlying link of the exhibit to learn more

    Mission accomplished!

  7. Samantha says :

    #1. Persona
    Angela is a 27 yr old female from california living in Los Angeles. She is planning on moving to the city of Seattle to attend graduate at the University of Washington. She will be looking for work and a new apartment nearby her new university. Her income is limited and she supports two dogs. She will be driving to Seattle with her things and will be planning on keeping her car while she is living in Seattle. Her car is a Honda Pilot 2011 and is oversized and required ample parking space. She will be moving her by herself and will only be accompanied by her pets.


    New comer to Seattle, Information about basic living experiences (money taxes, transportation, weather)

    >Living in Seattle
    >My neighborhood map (interactive)
    > Zoom in on the u-district (where you plan to live)
    >Parking permits? restrictions?
    >clicked permits (not what we wanted)
    Nothing about parking restrictions (other transportation available)
    >Off leash Areas
    > Nothing showing (never actually alluded to what it would do if we clicked the “off-leash” button)
    >Dog park icon shows up after you type in address (WHAT IF WE DON’T HAVE ONE YET??)
    > Beaches for Dog- shows beaches icon but doesn’t say if it is ok for Dogs.

    #2. Persona
    Christie is a 19 year old undergraduate student at the University of Washington and is majoring in english. She is from Boston, MA and has never lived in Washington before until now. She is new to the state, city, and university. Christie lives in the u-district on Sorority row and belongs to Theta Kappa. She frequently takes the bus home from class because she is lazy and enjoys riding with her friends. She is careless about being aware of her surroundings and her belongings on the bus because she feels comfortable and social when her friends are riding with her. She has recently lost her cell phone and believes it was stolen on the bus. Her cellphone is under her parents plan and she has no access to shut her plan down immediately. She feels the best way to react is to call the police and submit a report. She is in need of the non emergency phone number and doesn’t have it written down anywhere.


    Seattle resident looking for the non emergency police phone number
    >Click city services (top)
    >scroll down to public safety and courts
    >scroll down to police department
    >none of the options applied
    >city department
    >police department
    >contacts and services
    >Department contacts
    >police service numbers
    Diagnose your own problem and find the phone number for yourself.

    #3. Persona
    CEO of a hot startup in Seattle, Mark Hampton, is an incredibly busy man. He makes a lot of money and has little time to do anything else but work. He is not married, and lives by himself in Belletown. He frequently has to jet around town in his sedan to visit and meet with clients and colleagues during the day. He often finds it is hard to find convenient parking and has accrued many tickets in the last two days. He has little time to go into a department location to physically pay his tickets, nor does he have the time to physically mail his payments in as well. He only has the patience and time for submitting his payments online while he sits in a meeting on his brand new Mac Book Air.

    I want to pay my seattle parking ticket
    >city services
    >Pay parking ticket or traffic ticket
    >CLick “pay a ticket online”
    >service charges
    >”I know my ticket number”
    >Enter your ticket number =submit
    > online payment

  8. Tiger Saenz says :

    Dacia and Janae:

    Three Personas:
    1. Teresa Parisa, Development Director of youth film camp non-profit.
    Just hosted annual auction and gala fundraiser and wants to properly report all donations.

    2. Bacia Fo Facia, Independent Contractor/ Freelancer who has not files taxes for 3 years.
    How to file back taxes and report write-offs.

    3. Pat Zinfandel owner of Insurance Brokerage Firm whose small business has recently hired 20 new employees.
    How to report new employees for employment taxes.

    TASK PATH #1: Teresa Parisa, Development Director of youth film camp non-profit.

    Go to website
    -clicked on “Charity/Non-Profit” tab

    -clicked on subfield “Other Non-Profits”

    -first observation: scale of header and body text too similar. small and not easily readable

    -clicked on FAQ (not easily found) FAQ not specific to Charity/Non-Profit but pertaining to ALL of IRS

    -clicked BACK to Charity/Non-Profit category (out of “other non-profit” subcategory) found “EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS FAQ”

    -leads to a list of more FAQ’s

    -randomly (frustrated at this point) select one of them which leads to yet another list of hyperlinked questions. Instead of having a scrolling page of questions with anchors, we had to jump back and forth between questions and their respective answers on their own individual pages.

    -by this point we’ve been on site for 10 minutes no closer to answer

    -surrender to the search box which brings up 124 results none of which look like they answer query.

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