Storyville: Research

02 Personas

". . . They won't give up style or performance, and they won't buy something made specifically for the aging because that's not how they see themselves."

- Marc Hottenroth

What are the personalities, goals and motivations of retirees? As part of our Research phase we developed the following real-to-life personas of retirees which later helped guide our design process.

Miko Liu

  • Age: 70
  • Family: Married, 2 adult children, 5 grandchildren, 1 cat
  • Career: Retired high school history teacher
  • Location: San Francisco resident for 32 years

Life goals: See the world she never got to see when she was younger; enjoy a lengthy, leisurely vacation. Spend more time with her grandchildren.

Experience goals: First and foremost, she wants her smartphone to be easy to use. All functions should be easy to find and it should be obvious what they do. More service-oriented than price-oriented finding features. Would like timely but not annoying reminders for activities and to-dos she signed up for.

End goals: Use smartphone to find interesting locations, taking pictures, and to find food she likes at affordable prices that both her and her husband will like.

Mobile Information needs: photo organization, reminders, location/directions, food recommendations, communication with husband and family, interacting with community and history-rich apps.

Asian-American, and lives in San Francisco with her husband, Steve Liu. Her daughter has 3 children and lives in Oakland, her son lives in Illinois and has 2 kids. Loves her 2 cats and doesn’t like leaving them alone, so doesn’t travel often or take long trips. Is part of a quilting circle and likes to watercolor landscapes. She is socially active and is very chatty. Regularly attends an aerobics and swim-ercise class at the local YMCA despite mild arthritis. Is spiritual. Doesn’t eat red meat and likes fish. Received an iPhone from kids as a present for photos, keeping in touch and note-taking because she is sometimes forgetful. Loves having her grandkids visit and spoiling them. She and her husband recently started a college fund for their grandkids. While not tech savvy per se, she has taken classes at her local senior center on how to use email and search online, and has bought things on amazon, uses google maps to print directions and the web cam her son in NY set up so they can talk over Skype. She recently created a Facebook account so she can check out photographs of her grandchildren.

Bob Malone

  • Age: 66
  • Family: Widower, 3 kids
  • Career: Retired veteran and military contractor
  • Location: San Diego

Life goals: Enjoy life after working hard and saving money for a long time; explore the world and experience some adventure; pursue hobbies that he finally has time to pursue; stay connected with loved ones.

Experience goals: Feels more connected to other people. Stay safe. Find out what’s happening, good to see, fun to do where he’s visiting and if anyone wants to do that with him. Wants to feel like he got a good deal. Does not have tolerance for slow and buggy software.

End goals: Use his smartphone to allow him to travel light and connect with other travelers while on his trip.

Mobile Information needs: Location/directions, a way to meet other travelers/runners or get suggestions from them, local event listings, planning tools, cholesterol monitor.

Veteran. Taurus. Retired from a management position at a defense contractor last year after a minor stroke but likes to stay fit and goes for a run at 5 am every morning. Enjoys being around other retirees, especially veterans. Recently started volunteering for a few hours at local Red Cross but generally feels a sense of loneliness since retiring. Feels bored without work and feels that he has too much time on his hands. Lives on fixed income from pension and a rental property and wants to be smart about money: get the most value for his money. He loves a good porterhouse steak, but his doctor has told him he needs to cut down on his cholesterol.

Basic Interaction Design   Spring 2011   |   Human-Computer Interaction Institute   |   Carnegie Mellon University