3.2 Personas, Scenarios, and Storyboards

The Teacher


42-year-old Randi Berntsen is an elementary school teacher for a 3rd grade in the city of Halden. In this class she has the main responsibility for the pupils. She’s been a teacher for thirteen years after graduating with a master’s degree. 

Approximately one year ago, she got divorced. As an effect of this, she’s become less social in private and would rather spend time with her seven-year-old son, who she shares the custody of. Therefore, she wants less contact from parents outside of work and more personal time. However, Randi is an emphatic person who still will answer calls and text messages even if it affects her private time. 

At work, she wants to keep the work phone, and to save time, she wants to plan parental appointments beforehand. Her goal is to cooperate with the parent so that the child does better academically and socially. What motivates her is her wish for every child to do well and feel like they can do well. 



Setting (Where, when):  A teacher spending personal time without needing to respond to parents straight away. 

Actors (who): A teacher after coming home from work, and different parents via an app.

Goals or objectives (what, why): To keep in touch with parents without creating too much workload for the teacher, because Randi still wants to cooperate with the parents so that the child can do better. 

Actions and events (how): To answer parents’ public general questions and private child-related / appointment-related questions without it being time-consuming for the teacher after work.


One day after work, Randi is out walking her dog with her son in hand. Usually, she would have been contacted by one or two parents by now. However, after the release of a new teacher-parent app (that combines different ways of communication), Randi can enjoy her walk and chat with her son after a stressful day at work. When she gets home, Randi checks her phone for notifications. She clicks the notification and her phone automatically logs into the app, since she’s made sure the app remembers her login.  

The screen shows the front page, the timeline. Here, one of the parents of her 3rd grade pupils has asked about the trip the following day. It’s clear that the question has received answers from other parents, and Randi only needs to confirm with a short text. This way other parents wondering about the same thing don’t have to individually ask the teacher, and Randi can focus on other important things, such as answering private questions.  

The private way of communication is only supposed to be used for planning appointments, or for questions about a pupil’s academic or social development. In the application, her inbox shows two new messages. One is from a parent asking about specific info on their child, and the other wants to schedule a face-to-face appointment. Randi only needs a few minutes to give good feedback and propose a date. When finished, she simply closes the app and calls it a day. 



The Parent


David Dahl is a 27-year-old male who lives in Fredrikstad and works five days a week as a carpenter in his own company DBK. He is happily married, with three kids to take care of.  

David is a very social active person and he loves to talk a lot. Every day David drives his kids to school before going to work from 08-16. David is very kind but strict parent who may become a bit overprotective. When at work David tend to worry a lot about his kids at school, because he rarely gets any information about how they are doing.  

David needs a way to communicate with the teacher and get updates on how his kids are doing at school 



Setting (Where, when):  A parent who is at work, but want to find out how his son is doing at school. 

Actors (who): A parent who is having a lunch break at work.  

Goals or objectives (what, why): To know how his children are doing at school, because David is a worried guy and always looks after his kids. 

Actions and events (how): To receive updates on his children and contact the teacher about private child- and appointment-related matters. 


It is mid-day and David is just starting his break at work. While eating his amazing sandwich, he decides to check if there have been any updates on his kids at school.  

David takes up his phone and opens the app, which the school advised him to use for better parent-teacher communication. He then logs in with his user. After logging in, David is on the front page. There he quickly sees that the class is on a field trip that day (which is a special event) and that everyone is doing great. He can also see an attached picture where he finds his son having an amazing time. Additionally, David decides to send the teacher a private message to ask about the next face-to-face appointment. Then he closes the app and goes back to work.   




3.1 Generating Ideas

How did we generate ideas?

We transitioned into the ideation process in class, where we spent 30 minutes brainstorming ideas that could fit our problem definition: “How can teachers and parents (who) communicate more frequently using a smart phone (what) without creating more workload for teachers (why).”  

We wrote our ideas, weird-, related or not, into a mind map and elaborated what we wanted for each of them (red boxes)as a way to build on each other’s ideas.  For each idea we also included a fitting picture. This way we started the process in a more cognitive and visual manner.  


A picture of the ideas


How did we select the 3 most preferred ideas?

When we were going to select the 3 most preferred ideas, we used the dot voting method, and gave the best ideas points from 1-5, where 1 is the lowest and 5 is the highest. In the end the app idea got the most votes with 20 points. The other two ideas that got the most votes were the holographic watch (17 points) and the blog (12 points). 

The purpose of the application would be to create a safe place where parents and teachers can ask questions and share info. Its function would be to share general information between parents and teachers, both private and public. The public one would be like a forum or timeline, where parents can ask a question and get answers from other parents and/or teachers. This is meant to save the teacher some time, instead of individually answering questions many parents might be wondering about. On this timeline, teachers can also give updates on special events (field trips, holiday-related activities, etc.) happening during the school day. It should also be possible to share general information privately with individuals regarding a child or appointments when needed. 

A presumed positive effect of using this app will be better communication between not only teachers and parents, but between parents as well. Parents can answer parental questions if they know the correct info. In addition, the app is meant to replace text messages- and phone calls on a teacher’s private phone after work. This is intended to give the teacher more freedom regarding when they want to- or have time to respond to messages.