After digging further into the idea of personas, the second persona of the art teacher is, to an extent, representing two different personas. On one hand, she is the teacher working with middle school/high school students. She occupies the role of educator. However, she is also an artist. In this role, she is a creator or contributor but also a consumer. As pointed out, artists are often left out of the focus. In the case of the project Al-Mutanabbi Street Stars Here, these artists include both visual artists and poets. While they may be creating work for the project and hosting events, they are also attending the events and studying the works as the information consumers. The networks that they have created working on this project is integral to is popularity and continuation. Based on this slight shift, I want to expand on the persona of the artist-teacher. There are two narratives operating here. The first is that of the educator and the second is that of the artist-scholar.
Both personas (college student and art teacher) considered themselves to be tech savvy. Technology is a large component for their professional and social activities. However, the college student is more attached to her electronic devices throughout the day. She even joked about taking her iPhone to the bathroom. In terms of what platforms they are using, it was interesting to see that they both use Instagram and Facebook to varying degrees. The teacher is more active on Facebook since she uses it to connect with friends, other teachers and artists, and to promote her work (e.g. exhibits, workshops). The college student uses Facebook, but it is not her primary social media platform. Both are frequent users of the more visually-focused platform Instagram. This makes sense looking at data that shows its popularity among college-age users and considering its applications for sharing art images. One strong deviation was the college student’s use of Snapchat which the teacher did not use at all. This led to to thinking about how to present the online material for my project. One, I want to make sure that the content is viewable on a variety of electronics (smartphones, tablets, websites) and on different makes (Mac vs Pc, iPhone vs Android). It also made me think that I need to promoted the project using a variety of outlets, such as Facebook and Instagram, to reach a wider audience. It was also interesting that neither one mentioned the text-based Twitter. However, there are other personas/groups who would be interested in the project and frequently use Twitter.
The two interviewees are clearly at different places in their lives. The college student has not declared a major yet and is still trying to decide what she wants to do post-graduation. Her main professional goals are getting good grades and graduating. However, she seems to be slowly learning that the entire end goal is not the grade. It is also about learning and how that can affect how you see the world.
In contrast, the teacher is more established with a career beyond graduation. She is married, works as a teacher, and is a practicing artist. She has more established and farther reaching social networks. I was surmise she also has a stronger sense of self and clearer vision for where she see herself in the future. One of her mottos is “non-toxic living.”
Both women consider themselves as liberal-leaning. They share political viewpoints and activities in their social media platforms. These views were, in part, shaped by their upbringings, but they are sometimes in contrast with their friends/peer groups. Despite potential conflict, they adhere to their viewpoints and maintain these relationships. Their viewpoints lead me to believe they would be open to the subject matter of the project which focuses on terrorism in the Middle East and Muslims as the victims.
I was not familiar with the idea of crafting personas prior to these readings, and I admit that the concept seemed a bit daunting to think in the abstract. I could identify with Shlomo Glotz’s statement in “A Closer Look at Personas” about being skeptical at first until seeing well-done personas in action. Glotz provides a useful introduction to the idea of personas in Part 1 by explaining how user-centered design is the same as goal-centered design and all that entails. This assisted in making the article relatable since working in libraries we often use the term “user-centered design.” An understanding of the terminology makes all the difference since I have sat in many meetings with teaching faculty to realize that we were both talking about information literacy but using different terms. Whether we refer to them as clients or users or visitors, we need to create products that will appeal to them and be of use. I appreciated that Glotz provided visuals in trying to explain complicated concepts like personas, scenarios, and goals. The first part was an effective lead in to part 2 that broke down the concepts into manageable steps.
Seeing concrete examples was helpful in wrapping my mind around this approach. Reading through the WOSP personas for Te Papa was especially helpful. These tangible examples with descriptions, attributes, needs, frustrations or pain points, and recommendations along with specific details like demographics and photographs helped. Even though these are amalgamations or representative types, little details like photographs assists seeing these types as real people.
Even though I have taken part in interviews in my previous position related to library events, each prospective interview is always a new challenge. Erika Hall’s article “Interviewing Humans” provides a clear, concise guide for approaching interviews. She breaks down the interview process into clear sections with the introduction, body, and conclusion–much like an essay. Even through some tips may seem commonsense, they are necessary reminders. Tips like remembering to focus on the interviewee and providing an ice breaker are necessary reminders. Even the reminder to breathe is a helpful reminder because the thought of interviewing someone can be overwhelming.