Characteristics for – Support users from the client university

Characteristics for Hypothetical Support users from the client university

Original version: 25/10/15
This version: 05/12/15




Design Implications
Age 25 – 67+ years Need to consider needs of different age groups in terms of accessibility, for aspects such as text size and interactive features.
Sex M/F or Non-binary Language should be gender neutral to promote equality.
Ethnicity Many Following the university-x equality and diversity guidelines should help to ensure that the content is appropriate.
Location South Coast of England, available internationally Can have a slight English and university-x flavour, but regional colloquialisms, either written or through visual reference should be avoided.
Education Undergraduate to Post-graduate level. These users have an undergraduate degree as a minimum and have a high level of technology fluency.
Socioeconomic status In 8 classes model, aimed at L2 and above.–rebased-on-soc2010–user-manual/index.html Design needs to evoke professionalism; clear, approachable, reputable. Clearly branded as a university-x tool.
Ownership Access to a work computer, library computer and/or home computer with an Internet connection in order to complete the LO. The design is for personal computers as the LO relates to software which is primarily used on personal computers (Microsoft Word). Access to Microsoft Word for work and home computers is provided by university-x, however it is possible that it will not be installed on the computer used to complete the LO. For these situations the activity based in a Word document is optional and the activity can be completed on a different computer.
Mobility May work across campuses, may work from home, coffee shops etc.

Need to the ability to save their work and return to the LO later on possibly on a different computer. As this will not be linked to university-x authentication, an access key will need to be generated that the user can enter, in order to resume their progress.

Need to account for weak broadband as staff who live in smaller towns and villages will not have a robust broadband connection as compared to those who live in cities. Different countries also have varying connection speeds and university-x has some teaching programmes abroad, which may be affected slow connectivity.

Cultural (as in working culture)

Organisational ethos

Raison d’être

Educational, professional development, informational (re: government policies), instructional. Needs to have the right balance of information, interactive and practical exercises in order to reinforce the information.
Organisational model



These users will be assigned by a line manager to support the LO.

Task Environment
Task identification I have not identified tasks specifically for the support user because they will need to access statistical information about the LO, which may require an additional interface. This is outside of scope presently. May require an additional interface in the such as a dashboard to view usage information and in-progress attempts for the learning object.
Volition All tasks are compulsory. As supporting the use of the tool is part of the support user’s work.
Motivation Extrinsic – use of LO is promoted by employer.
Corporate Goals Increase awareness of accessibility as a consequence to changes in DSA funding. This goal will need to be explicitly outlined somewhere within the LO, so that this motivation is clear.

Literacy Literate: English may not be first language, but academic English fluency is expected. High levels of digital literacy. This user group will have access to the technical aspects of the LO, so will need a familiarity with MySQL and HTML in order to access all the background processes/storage for the LO.

Motivation Extrinsic – government, employer The government’s changes partially motivate the need for change within the UK context. The employer has asked the employee (technologist) to support the LO.
Interests Pedagogy and
Good accessibility can actively support good pedagogy students/staff might be interested to know how accessible materials can help to support their teaching. The technologists may be actively involved in promoting accessibility.
Attitudes towards Technology Positive These users are generally positive about technology and tend to champion new technologies, as long as the technology delivers on it’s promises!
Self-esteem High self-esteem in terms of technology use May be less confident on the pedagogical side, but very self-assured when it comes to the use of the technology.
Locus of Control The user is in control of the pace, but there are set avenues of exploration. This LO is a training application, so although the user can choose what they would like to learn first there are only a set number of topics. Boolean logic may be employed to determine the types of information made available. These support users will be well positioned to help test the aspects outlined above as they articulate potential issues more effectively then most users and will also know about potential gaps in collective knowledge.
Personality Varies. Not such a factor as for other user groups. Although these users need to feel confident that they have a technical grasp of the system so that they can go in and troubleshoot issues, should they arise.
Visual literacy High level understanding of graphical communication. These users can help make sure that the LO is accurate and can also update it as screenshots become outdated due to upgrade to the Microsoft Word software. They will have a high level of visual literacy.

Task Domain Knowledge Advanced, Back-end Advanced knowledge of VLEs and web-based technologies inc, html5, MySQL etc.
Computer domain knowledge Expert The LO is not aimed at these users, other than to perhaps standardise their existing approaches to accessibility.
Learning style Kinaesthetic, exploratory learning Support users are likely to learn about the LO back-end as they use it and troubleshoot issues. It will still be helpful to supply these users with documentation to help them complete tasks in the back-end of the system.

Dyslexia Across such a large user group, dyslexic users are inevitable. Adjustment options for the LO. Allow adjustment of font size, contrast, grey scale and ideally the background colour tone. These settings will need to be stored if the LO is saved and then resumed.
Dyscalcula As above. Visualisation and explanation of numerical data. Any numbers or statistics represented needs to be both explained and visualised.
Memory disability Possible challenges when it comes to retention and recall of terminology and steps in a workflow. Allow the option of downloading a fact sheet (PDF) version of any workflow that is outlined. This can and referred to for future reference.

Sensory Capability
Vision Impaired vision. Allow adjustment of font size, contrast, grey scale. Provide a zoom slider to zoom in on all content. Provide text-to-speech on primary text. Support speech-to-text and speech navigation engines for use with a web browser (Jaws, Dragon Dictate, Apple desktop OS speech engine).

Lack of hand, finger, arm etc. Possible difficulty using mouse for navigation. Offer options to navigate the site using keyboard shortcuts and support speech navigation engines. It would be an idea to include a shortcut that will turn on a legend for the keyboard shortcuts, so that one can see where a shortcut will take you to.
Dyskinesia Possible issues with drag and drop exercises. When drag and drop is part of an interactive activity, as alternative mode for completing the activity (such as text-only) should be provided to ensure accessibility.


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