Real Life User Personas

Here’s a real life persona for you – the busy housewife (or, mother, home worker, domestic engineer, etc).

My wife is a busy mother and [one of the above] and uses the web every day, mostly for checking her email, managing our online photo albums and reading the Babycenter bulletin boards.She also buys things online and manages a large proportion of our finances online, reads the news and stays up with the latest entertainment goings on.

Despite this seeming wealth of web experience, here is a recent exchange between us while she was online looking to see what movie we should rent that evening…

She: What do you want to see tonight?

Me: How about Big Fish – it’s supposed to be pretty good.

She: What’s it about?

Me: I’m not exactly sure. Why don’t you look at the reviews for it at

She: Okay. [Goes to the site] I can just type the name in?

Me: Type it in where? The search box?

She: [has already typed “big fish” into the search box and pulled up the results] Yes. Boy this site is slow. Here it is, but I don’t see any reviews.

Me: What do you mean? [Visualizes the search results on her screen] You have to click on the link to see the reviews about the movie.

She: What link? I don’t see any link. All it has is “one result” and then some stuff about the movie. This isn’t very easy. Unless it’s going to be easy I’m going to give up.

Me: [Thinking “boy, how hard can this be?” but reluctant to get up and walk over to see what’s going on] Just click on the link.

She: I don’t see a link!

Me: [Gets up and walks over] The link – click on the words “Big Fish”!

She: That doesn’t look like a link! [Mutters more disdainful comments about the site]

Me: Would you have known it was a link if it had been underlined?

She: Yes.

Me: [To self – “This web design thing is pretty tricky…”]

For the record, here’s what she saw:

Metacritic: Big Fish
Metacritic: Big Fish