Looking for Personas in Erindiroukambe


As technologists and computer scientists we are always  triggered to explore new ideas with our community members. The local research team from the Polytechnic of Namibia, Gereon Koch Kapuire, Colin Stanley and Heike Winschiers-Theophilus welcomed a new idea by Daniel G. Cabrero from the University of West London to explore personas. In October 2014, the local research team accompanied by Kasper Rodil from Aalborg University and Daniel visited Erindiroukambe. Colin and Daniel currently engaged with their  PhDs set the agenda for the sessions. Upon arrival to the site, Gereon introduced Daniel to the elders. It was the first time for Daniel to visit the research site. The elders welcomed the research team and eagerly proclaimed their availability. As always, they were excited to see the research team. One elder was on his way to  Otjinene to sell one of his cows, but  changed his mind in order to participate in the project sessions. It was late afternoon, and so the research did not start till the next day. During early morning of the 21st of October 2014, the elders gathered at the homestead of the local researcher, as usual since they have been actively involved in the project for 6 years. Alex, Gerard, Job are the elders who participated, with Nanai the only youth. Another elder participated for the first time. The discussions started by Colin introducing the concepts of personas. The elders had difficulties grasping the idea of personas. The purpose of co-creating personas was twofold, one for Daniel to learn about forms of personas in non western countries and second to fit into a crowd-sourcing scenario to inform Colin on further requirements for a new system. Yet the first session only concluded with elders having pointed out important things and places in their life.. The participants took a few hours break, for the research team to reflect on the results collected and plan the second session about crowd-sourcing. Although the semi-personas were not useful in the secod session, Colin obtained a number of relevant requirements for his further development. All in all the trip showed to be an extremely rich learning experience for ALL participants, once more.

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