Personas – YSM & Slavery

To understand potential users’ needs for the proposed YSM & slavery website, I experimented with creating deign personas. Personas represent significant groups of real-world people that you are designing for, and the goal is to use them to help design the website for those audiences. For an introduction to personas, check out these articles.

Here are the three personas I’m working with:

Dr. Anna

Medical Doctor
"Slavery was a dark period in our country's history."

A medical or institutional insider with a personal connection to YSM.

A Day in a Life Narrative:

Busy with professional and family responsibilities. Understands modern medical care but skeptical she has personal racial biases that affect care. Knowledgeable about using computers, websites, and smart devices, which she uses in her personal and professional life.

End Goals:

Wants to understand YSM’s past
Wants to be informed quickly
Wants to see racism as mostly past


"I want to understand the legacy of slavery and racism today."

A high school, college, or medical student studying race, slavery, and medicine.

A Day in a Life Narrative:

Focused on school but also leaves time for outside activities with friends. Has a rough background in the history of slavery and race in the United States but interested to learn more. Comfortable using computers, websites, and smart devices in all aspects of his life.

End Goals:

Wants to understand how YSM’s past fits larger patterns
Wants to explore historical connections
Curious about ongoing racial problems

Ken and Sandra

Retired Black New Haveners
"The only way to fix racial inequalities is to confront them today."

New Haven community members interested in how YSM connects with their city and its people.

A Day in a Life Narrative:

Uses free time in retirement to volunteer, care for grandchildren, and/or participate in community activities. Has a personal understanding of historical and continuing racial inequalities, including a general idea of medicine’s role in them. Uses computers and websites sparingly, mostly for email, news, and some shopping. Has a smartphone but uses it mostly for calls and sometimes for texts.

End Goals:

Wants to understand community’s relationship to YSM
Wants to have personal/family history validated
Wants this information shared broadly
Wants racial inequalities acknowledged and repaired