School Seminar: Generating User-Created Personas in Foreign Locales: Initial Steps in Technology Design across Cultures


Combining User-Centred Design (UCD) and Participatory Design efforts in technology design is a sensible move. Scaffolding from the UCD persona artefact, this talk presents User-Created Personas (UCP) to scaffold end-users’ self-representations via persona artefacts. UCPs were co-designed with four ethnic groups in pastoral and urban Namibia. The aim was (1)to increase the scarcity of empirical persona research, particularly in locales beyond Western thought & influence and (2)to assess the efficacy of UCPs in local and foreign contexts. Findings depict UCP diversity according to cultural settings, while depending on locality or foreignism, appraisers generally accepted (i.e. local) or questioned (i.e. foreign) results. This reveals the need to study culturally diverse populations and their persona representations, instead of attempting to universalise methods.

Daniel is a research associate as part of the Agile Research Network in the School of Computing & Communications at the Open University. His research interests lay at the intersection between User-Centred, Participatory and Human-Centred Design, User Experience, and Enterprise Agility programmes, doing and methodologies. He has worked in academia and industry alike and the emphasis of his work and his passion are on finding communicational means of cultural respect and Gaian advancement.

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