Personas, Scenarios and Storyboards

1. Personas

We made two personas, Siv Andersen wich is a pupil and Johanne Berntsen who is a teacher. We chose theese two personas since they are our core users and the most relevant to understand the behavior to.

  1.   Scenarios & storyboards

Setting: Getting a task in class

Actors: Siv Andersen (10) and Johanne Berntsen (34)

Goals/objectives: Enable user to complete task given by teacher

Action/events: Make a cartoon story about the pupils holiday

During class Johanne gives all pupils a task where they were asked to create a cartoon about what they did during the summer holidays. She wants them to be creative and motivated to write a short story with pictures. Siv is going to make a cartoon about a boat trip she went on with her family and two girlfriends. Johanne suggests that students can use powerpoint to create the cartoon. Siv’s thinks that the app here teacher has suggested is difficult to use. She also doesn’t think it allow here to make something that actually looks like a real cartoon. At home, she has used a cartoon app when making a birthday card for her little sister. She tells Johanne about this app. Johanne searches the apps in the school’s app store to see how other teachers have experience using the suggested app. Several teachers at other schools recommend this app. One teachers has posted screenshots of students artwork, and Johanne is impressed. She decides to distribute the app her pupils through the push-function in the app store. In seconds all the pupils, which is organized as here users under here account in the app store, receive the app on their iPads and they start exploring it.

These are the most important thing to include in the storyboard:

  • Johanne creates a task that will be engaging for the students. She wants them to create a cartoon story about their holiday.
  • Siv gets the task and finds it difficult to complete using the apps suggested by Johanne.
    Siv knows of another app that could be used to complete the task and suggest this app to Johanne.
  • Johanne have never heard of this app but is interested in how she can make it easier and more fun for the students, so she tries to find the app in the schools app store.
  • Johanne wants to find out more about the app and uses the app store forum to ask if anyone has experience using the app. She also searches to find any discussion about the app.
  • She found that  several teachers has used the app before and has had good experiences so she distributes the app to all pupils in class.
  • Siv and the other pupils simply have to open the app and can try it out, Siv is happy that her suggestion was followed up on and that she has access to an app she can be creative in.

Setting: Teacher

Actors: Johanne Berntsen (34)

Goals/objectives: Get overview of new apps and prepare for a new semester

Action/events: Johanne gets advice from other teachers

It’s late summer and Johanne has started preparing for the next semester. This year she is assigned to teaching 5th grade at Bogstad elementary school. She used to teach 1th grade, but because of retirement among the staff she now is a 5th grade teacher.

This means a whole new curriculum and also a whole new set of apps to use during class. She logs on to the schools app store and looks at what the previous teacher used. She has taken over the account for this class. She is not so happy with some of the apps and decides to ask other teachers for advice. She navigates to the forum for 5th grade teachers and post that she is looking for good apps to use in language and math. She quickly gets replies from teachers with more experience and start downloading.

These are the most important thing to include in the storyboard:

  • Johanne started preparing for a new curriculum as she has been assigned to a new grade.
  • There is a lot to prepare when teaching a new grade but she has taken over the class account from the last teacher so she can see what apps was used in this class before.
  • Johanne is not satisfied with the apps used by the previous teacher and wants to explore the options available, she uses the schools app store to find what apps are commonly used.
  • Johanne is a bit overwhelmed with all the new apps and how to use them so she decides to ask her fellow teachers for help trying to figure out what apps they use and how they use them.
  • She gets a lot of answers and she can see one heavily upvoted answer that has a lot of suggestions on how to use some apps.
  • She begins her exploration of apps by downloading the apps suggested by the other teachers. Having the suggested use cases explained by the other teachers makes it easier to understand how to use the app.


Update on our IDEATE process

After getting some guidance from our supervisor during our supervision we decided to change our main idea (IDEATE) to an appstore for teachers with a forum where they can discuss and recommend apps among themselves.

Generating ideas

We started our IDEATE process with going back to our empathy stage and looking at the problems, and the problem statement we ended up with in our previous task. We then brainstormed using the ‘How Might We’ technique for half an hour. One of the students in our group wrote all of our HMW’s ideas up on the blackboard.

After our half an hour was up, we moved on to brainstorming possible digital solutions for our ‘HMW’-questions. We spent an hour on this stage. We then voted on our three favorite solutions. These ideas were the ones that got the most votes:

  • Control interface that let teacher turn on and off and assign app access
  • Use more playful apps in teaching, like Minecraft
  • AI that guide pupils to relevant apps and help pupils stay focused



HMW improve pupils focus?

HMW make pupils stay on task?

HMW remove distractions?

HMW improve benefits of iPad?

HMW make the apps feel more exciting? 

HMW make iPads more controllable?

HMW let teachers assign apps?

HMW improve collaboration?

HMW make communication more efficient?

HMW block distractive website?

HMW avoid pupils watching each others screen?

HMW let pupils help each other to avoid distractions?

HMW make school the favorite part of the day?

HMW make learning more playful?

HMW make the teacher more interesting?

HMW create rewards for completing task?

HMW make it more rewarding to stay on task?

HMW the distractions as motivation?


Possible digital solutions for our ‘HMW’-questions:

Integrated screen(iPad) in each desk, remote controlled by teacher.

Control interface that let tacher turn on and off, and assign app access.

Autonome robots that distribute and collect iPads. They also control pupils use and report violations.

Reward program for pupils that follow teachers instructions. 

Use more playful apps in teaching, like Minecraft.

AI that guide pupils to relevant apps and help pupils stay focused.

Filter for web-browsing that teacher can control.

Involve pupils more in development of learning apps.

Implement elements from popular games in learning. Make educational apps in collaboration with game designers.

Promote and facilitate more collaboration between pupils. 

Privacy filter on all screens.

Defining our research questions

We started by externalising our data from our online research, the expert interview and cultural probes for teachers and pupils. We went through all our information and wrote down what we felt was most relevant. In this way we got everything out of our computers and heads. It felt easier to see it on paper before continuing the process.

We decided to use the empathy map method to gain a deeper insight into our users needs and realize our insights. With the user in focus we can get a better understanding of the person we are designing for. With an empathy map we can synthesise our observations from the literature search and interview and probes. This can help us get new insights about our user and situation. The four different parts (say, think, need and feel) of the empathy map lets us focus on different aspects of the information.

For our project we have teachers, pupils and school management as users. The different personas we have created for the empathy map can be used to to find differences and this can help create some insights. We ended up making three different empathy maps, one for each user group.

We started with the unpack procedure. What do our users say, feel, do and think?

We started writing sticky notes with things we found when looking through the research, expert interview and our probes.

We then started placing it on our empathy maps. the first one we made on cardboard, the second and third map we made on a chalkboard. All the sticky notes were placed in the category we felt in belonged.

Please see the pictures below for a graphic presentations our all our empathy maps.

One problem that continues to reappear is the lack of control over the pupils activity on their iPad. Both pupils and teachers mentioned how easy it was to get distracted during class because of all the available apps on the iPads. 

The teachers need to be able to control the pupils iPad’s, because the pupils get easily distracted by all the available apps on the iPad.

Empathy map from expert interview
Empathy map from cultural probe from students.

Empathy map from cultural probe from teachers.


Cultural Probes

The users for our probes are 5th grade pupils at Bogstad skole in Oslo. We also included a probe meant for teachers at the same school. Together these two user groups could give us valuable insight into how iPads are being used in education and how it affects communication flow in the classroom. We chose Bogstad skole because it is one of the schools in Norway with most experience using iPads in education. We made an appointment with the headmaster Karoline Hoel who we also met when we delivered the porbes at school.

Bogstad skole in Oslo where we handed out our probes.

The goal of our cultural probes were to get feedback from both teachers and pupils on their experience using iPads at school. How does it affect their communication and what are the benefits and challenges? We also wanted to know if they had any ideas on improvements.
We designed our probes to be an easy, interactive and playful method for the kids to give us information about their user experience. We made a scrapbook for them to draw and use clip art to express themselves. With the freedom they get from drawing the keywords sets the subject matter. In that way they could share how they see the iPad as a tool for learning in their “own language” while we still get relevant information. For the teachers we created a simple word cloud with keyword from our interview. The teachers were encouraged to comment on the keywords they felt most relevant for them. In this way it felt more inviting and free than a questionnaire. We also included a chocolate treat for the teachers.

All the teachers at this school is iPad certified. They have to do a online course where they get insight into the different solutions available.
    Our probes consisted of:

  • Two mailboxes with customized top. One for the teachers and one for the pupils. The mailbox for the teachers had more information about our project and described what we wanted them to do. The box for the kids were simpler and with less information.
  • For the kids: An envelope containing; A scrapbook with a front page where we described two simple tasks we wanted them to do. The second page was page with emojis they could use and two blank pages for 1) expressing what they liked/disliked about iPads and 2) drawing/writing they’re app-idea. The probeds also included laminated keywords carefully selected for them to use in their scrapbook.
  • Empty iPad with a word cloud inviting the teachers to comment words they felt most relevant and/or they had an opinion about.
    Chocolate treat for the teachers. We put this, and the pages with word cloud, inside the mailbox.

Her are pictures of our probes:

The way the probes were delivered to the school. Two «mailboxes».

Scrapbook for the pupils:

Front page of the scrapbook for the pupils
Emojis for the pupils to express themselves.
The first «assignment» for the kids. Whats good and bad about using iPads in school?
The second «assignment». Whats your app idea?

Wordcloud the teachers:

Wordcloud for the teachers. They were asked to comment the keywords they felt most relevant for them.

Result of the scrapbook:


All the answers from the pupils first assignment. We read through and found what was the most supprising and gave us insight.

App idea:

All the answers from the pupils second assignment. Not many had a idea but the once who did is represented here. We read through and made comments.

Result from the teachers:

All the answers from the teachers. A total of 13 teachers answered. We read through and found what was the most supprising and gave us insight.