Elementary school student, age 10.
She would likely come in with a group of others her age, or maybe an older sibling. This would likely be an after school location to go to, rather than going home to an empty house while parents are working. It also might be her only access to the internet for homework projects. As this is a Cyber Café, the computers will likely already be on, and will be left on when the student leaves the facility. All monitor screens are viewable by the volunteer so that monitoring can be done for inappropriate material being viewed by children.
Kids are naturally social, so the group of students will sit at the single table with four computers if it is available. Assuming this is not her first time into the space, she will likely say hello to the volunteer whom she recognizes, or other community members known to her. As this space is anticipated to be used in a close geographic area, she is likely to know at least one other person in the space.
Depending on why she is there, she may plug in a set of headphones (if they are available) to listen to music or watch videos on YouTube. If she is working on homework, she may go to identified homework help websites. She might be working on a project with one or more of the other students. If she finds a funny video, she is likely to want to share it, and several of the students might gather around her computer. There will need to be space to allow several chairs at one station. If she is working on an individual project she might go to one of the more isolated computers with more workspace, but probably she will still sit with her friends.
If she needs help she is likely to go to the volunteer located at the desk at the front of the room. Depending on the nature of her question, she might first ask her friends. If she is too intimidated, she is likely to leave and not ask anyone for help. There will be some basic, simple instruction available at the computer station in addressing computer issues. Ideally offering some tutoring would be great, but this will be programming at the discretion of the facility owner and is not currently anticipated.
She will exit the space in a haphazard fashion, likely leaving the chair pushed out, and possibly with trash still around her area. The computer will be left on, and quite likely websites being used will likely still be on the screen. The coat she left will need to be placed in a lost and found area by the volunteer so she can collect it the next time she is in the Café.
Local adult community members-general purpose use
Several of the computers today are being used by adult community members. One of the two front computers, closest to the printer and copier, is being used by Marjorie. Marjorie is 19 and looking for a job. She has accessed one of the job search websites identified and is searching opportunities. She has already completed an on-line application to the local grocery store. She may also use the resume template to try to create a resume for herself. She will also, likely, access information on public transportation to see how she might be able to get to various locations that might be hiring, or to determine how to get to an interview. She might also access information on job interview skills. (Again, these might be resources that the facility owner considers expanding once the Café is open: resume writing classes, how to interview for a job, how to dress for a job interview). Once she has completed the task at hand, she will likely check her Facebook account, e-mail or instant message friends, and if friends are in the Café, she will then visit with them. She is likely to come in focused, and want to sit in a more isolated location. Because she may want to print out information, she will station herself close to the printer. She might even have change sitting close to her to immediately pay for the copies she needs to make. If she requires assistance, she will likely go first to a person she knows in the Café, she might then go to the volunteer if she has no success getting the information she needs.
Joe is sixty-five and wants to set up an e-mail account to talk to his grandchildren who have moved out of the area. He is literate, but not computer savvy. He will likely need one on one instruction beyond that provided in the written information provided at the computer stations. When he comes in, he will likely sit with someone he knows at one of the multiple computer stations. Depending on how well he knows them, he will likely ask the person sitting nearest him for help. If no one is there, he will then ask the volunteer for assistance. He might need assistance several times before he becomes familiar enough with the process of opening e-mail to be comfortable doing it himself, and will likely need help anytime he attempts a new part of the process, for example, forwarding an e-mail, or printing an e-mail.
Small business owner
An early 30’s business owner, Marvin, has recently opened a barber shop. He is coming into the Café to update his company website, check e-mail and print off some flyers that he wants to distribute to local residents. He will also review some of the open source business software on the computers as he intends to buy a computer within the next 3 to 4 months if business continues to pick up the way it has. He will need access to the internet, and will need use of the printer area. Initially, he will likely use the individual back computers that provide more work space. He will speak with anyone he knows upon coming in, but will then move to a solitary work location. If Marvin needs help at any point he can consult the volunteer. This volunteer will be available for simple troubleshooting and might be able to suggest some local resources that would be useful to Marvin if he needed further computer training. Although it will be at the discretion of the facility owner, this type of training—such as simple web design skills—would be ideal in this location. And by utilizing the LCD displays on the walls, this instruction could be easily accomplished. Some items that might be useful to Marvin would be access to jump drives. (Could be an item for sale at the Café) and because of the possibly sensitive nature of the materials being reviewed, a shredder by the printer station would be advisable.
When he leaves, he will leave his space as he found it.