Session 8 :: Three Generation Family persona

15 mins: Discussion questions OLI page 17.

We saw in the documentary that the children tended to stay stuck within the same situations that their parents had, especially when they stayed in their hometown. Is this because of the powerful socio-economic forces and influences that area has? (i.e. if the same people were in a different place, how would the STEEP forces affect them differently?)
I have heard that in the future the nature of higher education will change and it will all be done online. I wonder if this is plausible and if so will it affect student loan debt? It student loans are better then what will this generation’s new problems be?
With global fundamental change now happening at an exponential rate, (as Jim Dator says, the past present and future have gone from being very similar to radically different) will generation divides continue to be a useful device for analysis? It may come to be that we experience change as radical as the industrial revolution multiple times in one lifetime. Do we need generations as a tool to design and study futures?
Maybe I don’t understand how social security works, but why is it an issue if there are only two people paying into the system for every one person getting money from it? Don’t you only get out of it the money you’ve paid into it… so it shouldn’t be able to fail unless that money is severely mismanaged. Am I missing something about this?
  • 5-minute discussion 
  • 1-minute reports

30 mins: In-class activity


The documentary Two American Families gave you a glimpse into how STEEP forces play out in peoples’ lives over time. The chronicling of the Stanley and Neumann’s over the past two decades gave you opportunities to see how Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political forces affect real people in the past. Hopefully, you are able to see how the present is affected by such forces as well. 

In this exercise, you are going to imagine the future of the Stanley and Neumann families. In short, what happens from 2013 to 2050. As a designer you need to understand how STEEP forces shape the design space you are operating within. Things don’t just happen, forces of change shape the context where products, services, and experiences are launched. Aligning your work with such forces makes your design work more likely to succeed. 

In this exercise, you’ll explore make a persona for one of the characters of the third generation you met from the  Stanley and Morgan families.

Personas is a very powerful tool to communicate user research used by interaction designers. In this exercise, you will learn how to avoid the major pitfall in making personas– being too stereotypical and superficial. 

Three Generation Persona Family

5 mins: Step 1 :: Revised family tree assignment

10 mins: Step 2 :: Update family timeline

10 mins: Step 3 :: 2×2 exercise Sustainable Consumption Motivators.

5 mins: Step 4 ::  Begin Persona Mandala for one person.

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Recap. Today we began to look at persona development

Homework: (1) Finish in-class assignment and submit it for grading; (b) OLI page 19; (c) Weekly discussion post; (d) Comment on two classmates posts before class.

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