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.