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Project Plan: Use Scenarios

Create a set of fictional characters representing the different people who might end up using the space and the technology you are putting into the space.  Be as specific and comprehensive as possible imagining how the might come into the space in a give situation, how they might interact with the people already there, how they might seek help, how they might make use of the space and the technology over the course of a session, and how they might end their session and leave the space.  By creating 1-3 use scenarios in collaboration with your community partners, it will hopefully become easier to consider how the space, technology, and supporting materials should be designed to facilitate those uses.


Scenario 1:

Alejandro walks into the lab on a weekday afternoon, looking forward to working on his typing skills on the computer. He chooses the computer in the NW corner, furthest from the door, which operates using the Ubuntu system because it can easily switch from English to Spanish.

As he is opening up the Open Office word processor, he suddenly remembers that his daughter, Isabella, asked him to search the library catalog and find a book for her to read and write a report about for school. Never having used the online catalog, he asks Jane, the volunteer, for help with opening up the web browser (Firefox), finding the site (using a search engine to find the URL), and searching on the catalog.

Pierre, who is working with the financial education software on a computer located across the room, overhears their conversation. He becomes curious about how to find and use the library catalog because he has never used the online catalog either. He joins Alejandro and Jane in their search and proceeds to learn a thing or two about searching the web and using the library’s online catalog.

Feeling more comfortable with Pierre, Alejandro decides to ask him about what he’s doing on his computer. And they become friends. 🙂

Scenario 2:

Angela, a high school student, is in the lab for the first time since it’s been open. She chooses a computer and logs on to work on an English essay. Because she does not have computer and Internet access at home, she also spends an extra hour in the lab checking her email, browsing interesting websites, and socializing with her friends on Facebook and using chat programs. When it’s time for her to leave, she saves the document on the desktop.

Before she logs off, however, she sees the notice on the monitor that tells users that logging out will erase everything someone has saved or done on the computer. She asks the volunteer lab manager for help saving her work. The lab manager informs her that she has three options: 1) she can purchase a flash drive from Salt & Light for $5 each* which she can also use at school and places that provide computer access; 2) the lab is also giving each first-time user one rewritable CD for their own personal use; and 3) she can learn how to save her work on the cloud using GoogleDocs.

She chooses option #2, but she sets up a date to return to the lab and learn about using GoogleDocs.

(*this option also helps users become invested in the lab itself)


Scenario 3:

It’s Wednesday, Abby has walked half a mile from her home with her little boy Barney to get to Salt and Light.  She does this walk each week and normally she picks up her food and leaves.  However, she heard that Salt and Light just got a new computer lab that had games for kids and also had internet access.   Before she picked up her food she decided to check out the lab.

She walked into the lab and noticed another lady with her child, who was playing a penguins game.  Barney looked up and watched and asked if he could play.  Abby said she didn’t know how.  The other lady, Jane, said she could show Abby how to use the computer, so that Barney could play the Penguin game.    Abby thanked her and soon Barney was playing the penguin game.

Abby waited for a little while and told Barney that they should go to pick up their food, but Jane said she could watch Barney while Abby went and got food.  Abby went and got the food and came back.  There was now another younger man, Charlie, who looked like he was looking for a job.  Abby asked her son if he was having fun and he said he sure was.  A few minutes later, Nathan came in and asked Abby if she likes the computer lab.  She said sure and the two struck up a conversation.