Use model

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The Use Model identifies the main stakeholders who will be using the various services and products that P4A project offers. These stakeholders will provide a concrete representation of end users for developers and evaluators in various sub-project (SP) teams to help them better understand the scope, uses and success criteria of their deliverables. In addition, having these stakeholders in mind will help the SP teams anticipate the gaps in the system early in the process and come up with different approaches to address them. The initial use model was developed based on the desktop research and feedback from P4A project partners. This initial model went through rounds of iterations and was refined as more in-depth knowledge of real users was acquired from surveys and interviews. It should be noted that the use model will be further iterated and refined as SP teams begin utilizing it and providing SP1 team with feedback.

The use model consists of the following components:

  1. Representative user personae
    • Personae description
    • User states and context maps
  2. Baseline use cases
    • Narrative
    • Stakeholder maps
    • User Journey

Representative User Personae

The main goal of creating these personae is to assure each persona represents a group of stakeholders rather than an individual user. Similar to real users, these personae have diverse capabilities, needs and skillsets. It is very important to note that the focus is not on a medical explanation of what a person cannot accomplish or do, nor a lack of their ‘ability’; rather, there is an emphasis on the mismatch between the user’s needs and the context. The personae are built to illustrate each person from different angles and envision how they can take distinct roles within the P4A ecosystem and interact with one another. Similar to real people, these personae will evolve over time as the P4A project moves forward and SPs gain a better understanding of their users and communicate that insight among teams. The personae are intended to be used as a design and development tool. They enable designers, developers and evaluators across the project to always have a diverse collection of stakeholders in mind to safeguard against leaving any user behind. Although different teams can focus more on a particular persona as their primary stakeholder, they should try integrating other personae to realize how other users can benefit from their work. For example, the core stakeholders for the DSpace are considered to be developers. The use model should enable the SP team that is working on the DSpace to consider other stakeholders as well, such as people who have an unmet need, or people who are looking for learning material or searching for products and services. Considering non-obvious or untraditional users will help the SP teams think broadly and openly about potential users and the uses of the systems they are creating. Furthermore, when integrating multiple personae, SP teams will be able to create more connected systems and also identify the missing links between different components across the various SPs. To demonstrate the breadth of larger stakeholder groups that are represented by a particular user persona, the  user states and context map tool has been applied. This map also shows each user in a state and context that can then be compared with them in another state or context and can also be compared to other users to reveal patterns or commonalities in needs that might not otherwise be obvious. For each user persona, several maps have been overlaid to visually show the unique needs and preferences individuals have and how they can be understood.

The following chart shows how the representative persona are linked to the studied user groups:

AT Developer

James Olsen: “I want to do something meaningful with the skills I have.“

  • 38 years old
  • Freelance developer/ entrepreneur
  • Always ready to take on new challenges
  • Runs for marathons to raise money for various charity causes.

James is an independent developer working for the last 15 years in the area of accessibility. He started as a software developer for a large company, and then he decided that what he really wanted was to be able to make his own decisions and choose the projects he would love to work on to make a difference in the community. He strongly believes that giving back to society is the responsibility of each one of us. He also believes that making a successful product requires not only technical knowledge but also insight into economics and entrepreneurship. He believes that people should not just follow mainstream trends; they should look deeper into where the real needs are for individuals with various accessibility issues and challenges.James is confident and very self-driven, and is motivated by change and innovation and is not afraid to take the next steps. He continuously searches for new ideas and is a member of large online developer communities. He enjoys the flexibility of working for himself. He is experienced in the field and advocates that strong coding and development experience does not suffice for making an accessible product. James believes that before starting the design and implementation, it is important to know the need for the product and the related cost and efforts.

Service Provider

Mary Walsh: “I enjoy helping people to get back to those activities that make their life more meaningful.“

  • 42 years old
  • Occupational therapist at a public hospital
  • Lives with her daughter
  • Very active. Meditates regularly and plays tennis with her girlfriends on the weekends

Mary has been practicing occupational therapy for the past 12 years and specializes in mental health and brain injuries. She is a member of the Association of Occupational Therapists in her country. She has been very active in her professional community, trying to attend the annual OT congress. Once in awhile she volunteers her time to hold workshops at the hospital to train stroke patient’s family members for inhome support.She is always looking for different ways to improve her patients’ experience at the hospital. However, her time and resources are limited and sometimes she is unable to spend as much time as she would like to with a patient, or sometimes the client’s insurance does not cover the extra time and services she has to offer.Mary gets frustrated when she notices that some of the problems that her clients are experiencing could be easily prevented if their work/life setting was better designed or put together. All these little things here and there cause her to question how she could be more effective in her field. She enjoys systems thinking and would like to be able to work with people in other fields to design and build better living and working environments especially for stroke survivors and their support groups. At the same time, she would like to take her practice to another level and provide her clients with more meaningful solutions that are not just short term fixes.

AT Researcher/Educator

  • Nora Lindberg: “We should get out of our comfort zone and approach other fields.“
  • 54 years old
  • Access technologies researcher at the department of Computer and Information Science
  • A lifelong learner
  • Enjoys working with students on variety of projects

Nora works with several Masters and PhD students at the Access Technologies Research Lab in a public University. She is either helping them with their projects or employ them to work with her on commissioned projects.Working on a diverse range of solutions has broaden her perspective about assistive technology and its potential. The other advantage of working in the lab is that she doesn’t have to be an expert in technology since there are always experts and eager students around who can bring a research proposal to fruition.Managing time, funding and personnel for each project is a major challenge. Nora and her team always juggle different projects to make sure they have enough resources to meet their deadlines. Sometimes they have to drop projects as funding terminates or repackage a solution under different grants to continue their research and development process.Although Nora is very excited about what they accomplish at the lab, she is not satisfied with how these solutions are disseminated. People who are not aware of their website/social media or don’t attend the conference that her team goes to might never find out about their projects. She strongly advocates for coming out of the niche accessibility sector and being actively present in all the other scientific events, conferences, exhibitions, journals, etc. However, she admits that breaking out of the accessibility community and making the connections to other organizations requires extra time and resources that she doesn’t always have available.  

AT Vendor

Karl Hoffmann: “To be sustainable, we have to find out which other markets we can serve.“

  • 49 years old
  • Marketing and sales director at Learning Tools
  • A multi-taskeEnjoys interacting with clients and seeing how their products help them progress
  • Fervent biker
  • Keen of new technologies

Karl and two of his good friends started the “Learning Tools” company a few years ago. Since Karl had a background in business and public relations, he focused on marketing and selling their products while the other two focused on developing learning applications for individuals with special cognitive needs.Karl’s responsibilities go way beyond his title. He is the go-to-person with regards to the latest news about assistive technology. He checks different tech blogs, journals, social media and specific forums every day. His findings often turn into interesting topics discussed at coffee breaks or sometimes become an initial spark for a future project.During the development process, Karl is responsible for recruiting end users to test their products in exchange for free access to some of their applications. After the product is out, he keeps track of user’s feedback, reviews and ratings to make sure all the issues raised or concerns are communicated with the development team.Their user group is not very large, and amongst this limited group, people have very different needs, and also their assistive equipment are very dispersed; some use mobile devices with different operating systems (iOS, Android, Microsoft) and others use web technologies. Developing a product that can function effectively across different platforms is a very difficult and expensive task. On the other hand, to stay competitive in the online application market, they have to sell their apps for very low prices that could hardly cover any of their expenses. Despite all these difficulties, Karl and his team are so passionate about what they do and how their products make some people's’ lives better even if it’s just for a few people.

End User (no current barrier)

  • Elena Rossi: “I want to acquire skills and knowledge that will make me competitive and confident.“'
  • 21 years old
  • Unemployed
  • Holds a college diploma in Information Science
  • Active blogger. Created an online blog about young individuals diagnosed with MS

Elena has just finished a two-year college course in her hometown. A few years ago, when she was finishing high school, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She was active in sports and was hoping to get a scholarship, but after her diagnosis, practicing was not feasible. During her last semester of high school, she felt emotionally paralysed and helpless.  After her school counsellor recommend joining a MS support group, she started to reorganise her life and accept her new health condition. She decided to earn a college degree that helped her acquire basic knowledge in information systems and computers.After she finished her degree, she did not want to find a regular job; she wanted to learn how to help people like herself remain active in life despite their medical conditions. She has come to terms with the fact that her MS will progress and this has inspired her to learn how to make everyday products more accessible in order to better prepare herself and her parents for the future to come.She has been searching the internet for a while now, trying to find resources, online training courses, accessibility training videos and any related materials. In her search, she has realized how rare the information sources are in her language and how difficult it is to assure the information is not contradictory. As a result, she has started  a blog about young individuals who are diagnosed with MS and are looking for AT resources, trainings and tools and guides.

End User (1 to 3 barriers)

Olga Literski: “I wish I could spend my time and energy on things I like instead of dealing with all these little problems here and there.“

  • 32 years old
  • Accountant
  • Temporarily moved to a foreign country for work
  • Comfortable using computer and mobile technologies
  • Foodie. Loves to try new recipes

Olga works for an Accounting firm. She has been very diligent about her work and has been promoted several times over the past few years. A few months ago, her firm got a new client in a foreign country and offered Olga an opportunity to join that project. Olga was hesitant at first to move to a new country with a different language, but her mom and friends assured her that her blindness shouldn’t stop her from taking that chance.She contacted Blind and Partially Sighted Association before she moved and was connected to a volunteer who helped her rent a furnished apartment close to her new office. Her mom also helped her during the move and stayed with her for the first week to add braille labels to different items around the house.Living in a new city with a different language has been challenging. For instance, store layouts are unfamiliar and products have different packaging. So a simple grocery-shopping may take a few hours. At her apartment, the state of the art appliances frustrate Olga the most. Although her mom has added some labels for the touch screen controls, she still has to spend a long time to get to the right setting. Since they don’t read back her final selection, sometimes she chooses a wrong combination. For example, once she accidentally touched hot water on the washing machine and her favourite wool sweater shrank. And when she accesses local shops and organizations websites, she experiences difficulty with her screen that doesn’t recognize several words in this language.

End User (more than 4 barriers)

'Nicholas Gallo: “I want to do things that other kids my age do.“

  • 11 years old
  • Home Schooled
  • Lives in suburb with his parents and younger brother, Michael
  • Loves to participate in family gatherings and outings

Nicholas ...

Care Giver

'Vasili Moroz: “Although I need as much help, I’m the main caregiver for my wife.“'

  • 78 years old
  • Retired Math teacher
  • Lives with his wife
  • His daughter helps him to video chat with their grandkids who are studying oversees
  • Enjoys playing chess with his friends in a nearby park

Vasili ...

User Organization

Puline Rey: “We should bring technology closer to people and make it available for all budgets.“

  • 62 years old
  • Consultant at the Child Growth Foundation
  • Loves spending time with her grandkids and playing her dog
  • Passionate about human rights
  • Perefers using her old desktop computer.

Pauline used to work as a consultant in a public elementary school. Her experience with young kids with special needs, their parents and teachers made her aware of the scarcity and high cost of available assistive solutions. As a result, she started volunteering her time in advocacy organizations and gradually transitioned to Child Growth Foundation as a full time consultant. With the rapid growth of mobile technology, Pauline has noticed many new assistive solutions emerging for kids with special needs, however, they are not available and accessible for all families. Pauline and her team have tried to create a database of many assistive solutions that are either available for free or funded by public or private insurances. However, with a small number of people, mostly volunteers, and with no background in technology, it’s practically impossible to keep track of each new version or each new solution that pops up in the market.They have put together a limited collection of software, applications and devices in their centre, so, families and kids can interact with different options to find out which solution works best for them. Although this service has been very popular, Pauline has had a hard time raising enough funds to keep these solutions up to date and keep up to date with new devices and software.She believes the real big change comes when societies break the prejudice about disability. So, Pauline and her team try to educate the community to not treat these kids with a patronizing manner and instead provide them with the right tools to be as competent as any other individual.

Obligated Main Stream Organization

Felipe Castilo Porras: “I just want to make sure our website is accessible, I don’t need to know how screen readers work.“

  • 56 years old
  • Student Resource Centre administrator at a National university
  • Lives with his wife and daughters
  • Passionate about politics and international news
  • Tries to avoid new technology

Felipe has been working with the Student Resources Center for the past 20 years and has seen many changes in that office. In the beginning, the resources were limited to textbooks, audio books, and video/audio cassettes. Nowadays, students have access to many different types of resources; most course materials are available on the school’s web portal, and some courses are taught online.Due to the mandate by the ministry of education, the school is required to make their website and online portal accessible otherwise their institution will be at the risk of prosecution. In the first step, they are planning to make the school’s web portal compatible with NVDA screen reader before the upcoming academic year.This is a new problem space for Felipe and has kept him thinking. He is also pressured by some of the professors who have already prepared all their course material in PDF format who are not willing to spend any time converting them to a screen reader compatible format. He has reached out to their computer science department to consult with professors and possibly recruit volunteers or interns who could help with this project.Felipe is a very proud man and he doesn’t want to share his desperation with his team. He also wants to please the new Dean with his leadership capabilities and impress him with the way he has managed this project on time and on budget.