Personas

GDL personas

The GDL is aimed at many different types of users and the platform will be open for everyone. Intended users include ministries of education, school managers, teachers, donor agencies and their implementing partners, international and national non-governmental organizations, local publishers, digital distributors and content providers, and households in developing countries.

By designing with the users, and not for them, we aim to build digital tools that better address the specific context, culture, behaviours and expectations of the people who will directly interact with the GDL platform. Designing together means partnering with users throughout the project lifecycle, co-creating solutions, and continuously gathering and incorporating users’ feedback. The GDL platform has been user tested in Nepal, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Bangladesh during the development period. We have also conducted several tests with users that are visually impaired(Norwegian users), accessing the platform using Braille.

A persona, in user-centred design and system development, is a fictional character created to represent a user type or user group. In the GDL project, we have used the personas in combination with continues user involvement to ensure that the GDL platform is designed with the users and not only for them. In this process qualitative personas are constructed, based on experience user testing and interactions, to be representatives of specific user groups.

We have created the following personas:

  • Cambodian child, a 10-year-old female
  • Kenyan boy Peter, 10 years old
  • Ethiopian female, Melikte. 29 years old tech freelance/entrepreneur
  • Ethiopian student and translator, Bereket. 25 years old male
  • Ethiopian teacher, Aynalem. 25 years old female.

Sak Aphae, Cambodian girl. 9 years old.

Key information about work/education/school 

  • Sak is a 9-year-old girl from a small village just outside Phnom Penh in Cambodia. 

Demographics

  • Age – 9
  • Gender – Girl
  • Language: Speaks Khmer but is not a fluent reader.
  • Location: NN
  • Family – She lives with his family. Mother, father and 2 sisters and one brother.

Motivations for using the GDL – Goals and challenges 

  • Sak Aphae wants to be a teacher when she grows up.
  • Her parents can not afford to get any books for leisure reading.
  • Sak has just learned how to read Khmer and wants to start learning English as well.
  • He needs to find books to read at a more advanced level and he also wants to start out with playing games that would help him learn English. 

Peter, boy living in Kenya.  10 years old.

Key information about work/education/school 

  • Peter is a 10-year-old from Nairobi, Kenya. Peter lives in the Kibera. Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi and the largest urban slum in Africa. Peters goes to school 3 days a week and has access to the Kibera Library. 

Demographics

  • Age – 10
  • Gender – Boy
  • Language: He speaks Kiswahili and some words in English.
  • Location: He lives in Kibera, Kenya.
  • Family – He lives with his family. Mother, father and 2 sisters.

Motivations for using the GDL – Goals and challenges 

  • Peter wants to be a doctor when he grows up, but getting a higher education is a mere dream for him and his family.
  • His parents can not afford to get any books for leisure reading.
  • Peter has just learned how to read Kiswahili and wants to start learning English as well.
  • He needs to find books to read at a more advanced level and he also wants to start out with playing games that would help him learn English. 

Melikte, female from Ethiopia – tech freelance/entrepreneur

Key information about work/education/school 

  • Melikte is a 29 year old female from Addis Ababa. Melikte got her bachelor’s and masters of science in Computer Science from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.
  • Currently, she is working on her own startup/freelance work that revolves around mobile/ web application development.  Her day starts with going to a place with an Internet connection or open spaces/incubation hubs.

Demographics

  • Age – 29
  • Gender – Female
  • Language: She speaks English, Amharic and Sidamo Afoo
  • Location: She lives in Addis Ababa
  • Education – Masters
  • Family – She is married and living with her husband and a two bedroom apartment.

Motivations for using the GDL – Goals and challenges 

  • Primary goal – Making a difference in her society, helping kids learn how to read.
  • Frustrations and goals where the GDL can be relevant:
    • She is currently working on a language teaching application. She lacks enough content to train the app. So having GDLs different storybooks in various local languages would actually help her app provide quality educational materials. This comes in handy when scaling the reach of her app to children and youth.  
    • Usually, she spends her free time volunteering in her local community tutoring kids aged between 6 – 15. She usually gets frustrated because there aren’t enough children story books especially in local languages.  
  • Secondary goal – to see the success of her startup as soon as possible.
  • Developing her own app with content from the GDL and 
  • In the near future, she thinks that this would motivate to teach her kids more than one local languages

Ethiopian student, 25 years old. Bereket Gobeze is a volunteer translator

Key information about work/education/school 

  • Bereket is a 25 years old male from Addis Ababa. Bereket is studying for his bachelor’s and masters of science in Computer Science from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.
  • In addition to his studies, he is volunteering as a translator for the GDL project.

Demographics

  • Age – 25
  • Gender – Male
  • Language: He speaks English and Amharic
  • Location: He lives in Addis Ababa
  • Education -studying for his bachelor’s.
  • Family – He is part of a large family, still leaving at home.

Motivations for using the GDL – Goals and challenges 

  • Primary goal – Making a difference in his society, developing Ethiopia and providing education for all.
  • Frustrations and goals where the GDL can be relevant:
    • He is currently working with a group of students as volunteers to help marginalized children learn to read. He lacks enough reading materials in local languages. He spends his free time volunteering in her local community tutoring kids. He usually gets frustrated because there aren’t enough children story books especially in local languages. So having GDLs different storybooks in various local languages would actually help him and his fellow students provide quality educational materials to children in their groups.  
    • The translation features on the GDL platform provides the opportunity for him to use his English language skills to translate content into Amharic and also using is technical background and knowledge to translate books for use both in printed and digital versions.

 

Ethiopian teacher. Aynalem, 25 years

Key information about her work/education/school

  • Aynalem is a lecturer of Computer Science at Addis Ababa University. She did her undergrad at Adama University. After graduating she joined Madda Walabu university as a graduate assistant at the department of computer science.  She then came to Addis on a scholarship to pursue her masters of science in Computer Science at Addis Ababa University. She then joined the same university as a lecturer and is currently working there.
  • She currently teaches computer science related courses in the undergraduate program of the department.

Demographics

  • Age – 25
  • Gender – Female
  • Location: Lives in Addis Ababa
  • Education – Masters
  • Family – She is currently in a relationship but lives with her parents.

Goals and challenges

  • Primary goal
    • Create well-educated youth focusing in the STEM field.
  • Frustrations where the GDL can be relevant
    • She usually uses it with her younger brothers and sisters to make them fall in love with reading stories as well as learning new languages. The digital nature of the app and also the availability of several books in various languages makes it more preferable and accessible.
    • As a resource, while doing natural language processing projects with her students as there are very few language resources in local languages.
  • Secondary goal
    • Advocate for more women in the STEM field
  • How you help achieve these goals
    • As a lecturer, she has many resources available such as students, Internet, open spaces etc. to achieve these goals. Through hosting workshops, inviting other successful women in STEM field to motivate the next generation of Ethiopian women in tech and fill the huge gap.
  • Primary values – trust, preservation of culture, work-life balance and existence, keep the environment clean and safe

Motivations for using the GDL

  • Reading stories together at home with her family
  • Paperless – keeping the environment clean and safe
  • Digital and Open source – easier to use considering space, money and etc.
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