[games_access] persona

Eelke Folmer eelke.folmer at gmail.com
Wed May 23 17:32:32 EDT 2007


I had an idea that I picked up a while ago while I was at CHI 2006
last year, I found it last week while going through old notes. At
Chi2006 there was a talk on microsoft office and one of the
interaction designers showed how microsoft uses persona' to help
design software. E.g. there would be a grandma called betty (making
these names up) who would use word to write a letter to her son.
There would be a 12 year old schoolgirl called emma who would use
word to write a school paper on dinosaurs. There would be a 'dad' who
would use excel to calculate car payments. etc etc, there were about
6 of these personas on big signs with a name, a photo, some of their
hobbies and some sentences indicating how they would use a particular
Microsoft application. (i'm not exactly sure what was on there). They
would hang these persona's as posters in offices in microsoft so the
developers would be aware for who they were designing for. At some
point they would not notice the posters any more but these persona's
were very much embedded in the development of software and were
always references in discussions. E.g. they would consider adding a
complicated feature in excel that could help dad more easy but that
would also make the interface more difficult for tommie, etc etc.

I was wondering whether we could do the same for disabilities? If we
can actually provide developers 4-6 persona (covering most
disabilities) I think it would be an helpful tool which can
facilitate discussion and will also allow more clearly to focus the
development of a game to include disabilities.

I was thinking of doing it for my collection of patterns already
because i think its just more personable to develop for "blind
bettie" and show a picture of a girl that is actually blind than just
use "visual impairments".

Any ideas/thoughts on this?

cheers Eelke

Eelke Folmer Assistant
Department of Computer Science & Engineering/171
University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557
Game Quality usability|accessibility.eelke.com

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