Preference tools use cases

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The IDRC team has created a number of detailed use cases. Those use cases are on the Fluid wiki.

On this page, we want to document a number of "user vignettes" that allow the team to quickly produce very short experiences or expected functionality that might represent complexity in the UI and require additional conversation on-list, more design thinking in the weekly meetings, etc.

As a guide, vignettes might follow the following form:
Person > device/context > goal/activity

Example vignette:

  • Dan:
    • on his desktop
    • wants to edit sets versus choose and apply a set


  • Sam:
    • on initial use choose the step-by-step
    • at a later date choose to import application-specific set


  • Bella:
    • has application-specific set for Adobe Suite apps: Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash
      • customized shortcuts across Suite to be the same in all apps
    • has an application-specific set for Adobe Illustrator
      • invert color-scheme
      • customize shortcut for Magic Wand
    • which takes priority?


  • Lily:
    • on her business laptop; auto-configuration has been applied based on her base set which she has set up on her personal desktop
    • wants to confirm recommended application-unique preferences for her business laptop


  • Zoe:
    • On the computer at the Sanderson Library. No screen reader is installed, Cloud4all is available. First time she uses a computer at this library. She has a preference set “library” which she has created on a computer at the Parkdale Library on which a screen reader is installed.
    • She chooses her library preference set but it cannot be applied as no screen reader is locally available.
    • Does the choice of preference sets becomes redundant here? Matchmakers are available to find appropriate configuration for Zoe and the Parkedale Library computer? Where is the crossing between auto-configuration/matchmakers and user customization?


Use cases with an embedded or social aspect

Blaine is an avid gamer, with high motivation and attention that he often does not display toward his elementary schoolwork. The company whose game system he uses has partnered with an accessible gaming foundation to develop a preferences tool that can be applied to many of the games offered on that system, and extended to other domains. Blaine's school district, after long debate, has agreed to review the findings of this tool and apply it to the learning materials Blaine uses, but insists on oversight and administration by the school's psychologist and AT coordinator, and final approval by the child study team. Acceptance of the preferences tool results are going to be evaluated for consistency with Blaine's formal testing results and the opinions of the educational professionals.

Marta lives in senior housing and is an average user of technology: she watches a lot of television in her apartment, has a cordless phone, and checks email from her family once a week, on the computer in the recreation room in her building. She is comfortable with the technology she has, a bit anxious about changes in general, and aside from food and cooking, a long-time interest of hers, never explores new products on her own. She is going to a family reunion in a few weeks; more than 100 people will be attending over a long weekend. One event is a sponsored dinner for everyone at a local big box electronics store, where salespeople will be displaying technology products in hopes of making sales. The retailer has a customized version of the preferences tool that is integrated with their online catalog, and can even query products and their features on manufacturers' databases. Marta has reluctantly agreed to try this tool, but is worried that she will feel "double-teamed" by the salespeople and her young relatives who are always trying to get her to use new gadgets. She has recently been having some difficulty reading text on the television and is dealing with this by moving her favorite chair closer to the set, but this puts the chair in the way of getting to the kitchen and she keeps having to move it back and forth.  She is concerned that the preferences tool will contain an eye exam or that her vision issues will come up somehow.

Shuri does field support for a network management software company. She has been working out of the main office for a year, and is now being asked to visit customers in other cities. She has used GPII successfully at work and home, and has 2 concerns about her new work responsibilities:

  • What features can she call up on computers at the customer's location, which might be behind a firewall? Can she find out in advance and edit or create an appropriate set? Is it appropriate to contact the customer's ICT management about this?
  • She knows that some hotel chains participate in GPII, allowing guests to customize hotel room phone and TV, shuttle van schedules, etc. But these are generally the more expensive chains and she's worried about the additional cost. She doesn't know if she can search for hotels based on her preference set and hotel location.

She has set up a meeting with her supervisor to discuss this; as she is the first GPII user in the company this may require a policy decision at some level. She'd like to be able to show how the preferences tool can involve all this 'external' information so her supervisor, HR, and ICT management can understand. She is excited about the opportunity to both self-advocate and demonstrate leadership and expertise, but is concerned about adding complexity rather than being seen as highly productive.

Campbell is a wounded veteran in a rehab center. He is working hard on his physical rehab and wants to pursue a career in law enforcement after he leaves the military, but is concerned that his cognitive, hearing, and vision issues will stand in the way. He has bonded with Felipe, a fellow veteran in rehab, who has been using GPII for a while. Campbell wants to 'borrow' Felipe's preference set to get started, but Adrienne, their OT, thinks their needs are too dissimilar, that Campbell isn't really ready for exploring his needs and preferences, and that using Felipe's profile will get Campbell off on the wrong foot. She took a GPII training course for clinicians and feels capable of managing this process as part of all the rehab OT work she does. She's not trying to be bossy but she does have expertise and accountability. What she'd really like is to sit down with both of them and explain her concerns and go forward from there. She wishes there were a tool to let her get started with this. The same kind of tool could work to help families, employers, and others understand what's going on and how they can help.