Below are three examples of the personas that might visit my digital history project.
Name: Whitney Seaborn
Demographic: 51 year old physical therapist
Day in the Life: Whitney is a history buff who enjoys visiting museums and historic sites in her spare time. While looking up her next intended place to visit, she often stumbles across digital history websites and likes to explore some of the topics and artifacts on the site before returning to her task at hand. She is an average web browser and computer user. Most of her internet activity is limited to checking email, posting to and visiting social media sites and browsing various web pages. She likes when web sites are clean looking and include intriguing photographs and video to complement text.
End goal: Whitney is simply looking to learn some new things when she stumbles on history websites.
Name: Victor Bartlett
Demographic: 25 year old junior graduate history student
Day in the Life: Victor typically begins his research for a paper on the Internet, often starting off with Google to see what he can find. As a history undergrad and a first year history graduate student, he is very familiar with digitized sources and online databases. This is where the majority of his research is done. When he finds digital history sites he expects to see contextualized information about the subject, rather than seemingly random artifacts or events. Interpretive essays and credible primary and secondary sources convince him of the site’s scholarly worth. He often will discover book titles from his digital research and consult books after he has exhausted his options on the Internet.
End Goal: Victor is hoping to find detailed and scholarly information on the web. He is also looking for quality bibliographic information that can lead him to further information.
Name: Melissa Craig
Demographic: 31 year old high school teacher
Day in the Life: Melissa teaches 11th grade US history and is constantly moving more of her teaching to the digital world. Melissa is adept at using Google Drive and Google Classroom. She is familiar with online databases and occasionally uses them to support her teaching. She finds that students are more engaged in the lessons if they are able to use a computer to supplement their work. She often looks for digital projects that complement what she is already teaching. Websites that highlight primary sources and lesser known historical events are her favorites. She will often set up her students to explore a website to find information rather than directly lecture. For example, she might point students to a website that contains maps, photos, and documents. Her students will be expected to answer a question like “What did the United States know about the Holocaust prior to and during WWII?” The students are expected to use the sources they found on the website to support their answer.
End Goal: Melissa is looking for websites that are rich in primary sources while also giving detailed but not incredibly lengthy text interpretations. She looks for text that most 10th graders can read.