This is one of the personas we developed for our storyboards and scenarios. This exercise was particularly useful in identifying and correcting assumptions with language and technological proficiency.
Name: Mr Ricky Chen
Background: Mr Chen is originally from Hong Kong, but he and his wife moved to the UK 10 years ago to be with his son and his family in Kent. Mr Chen used to be owner and head chef of a successful restaurant back in Hong Kong, but has since retired after moving to the UK. For the past 10 years, he has been helping out at a friend’s small Chinese bakery on an ad-hoc basis, more for the social structure rather than financial necessity. He mostly potters about in the garden, practices Qi Gong, takes care of his 2 grandchildren (granddaughter 3, grandson, 5), and does most of the cooking at home. He is also quite a keen DIY man, and does all the home repairs and lends a hand at his friend’s bakery installing fittings, lights, etc. He’s also heavily involved in the Chinese Cultural Society, and likes organising cultural trips and events for other Chinese immigrants in Kent.
Language: He speaks mainly Cantonese and Chinese, with only basic English. He had never spoken English before arriving in the UK, and never had any need to learn the language very well as most of his friends and family speak Cantonese and Chinese.
Computer skills: The only piece of technology he personally owns is a Nokia mobile phone – no touch screen, and not a smartphone. He doesn’t use the computer, although his son has tried to show him how to send emails once or twice, but Mr Chen doesn’t see a need to use it. He drives and doesn’t usually take the tube, so he doesn’t often come into contact with a touch screen ticketing machine.
Physical: He is perfectly healthy except for weakening eyesight and a history of back problems – can’t lift heavy objects.