Connecting with Users: Developing Personas for The Improvement Of The Smithsonian’s Museum on Mainstreet WaterSim America App

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The WaterSim America is an interactive iPad game app included with the exhibition that takes users through several scenarios and asks them to make decisions about how their town’s water

The WaterSim America is an interactive iPad game app included with the exhibition that takes users through several scenarios and asks them to make decisions about how their town’s water supply should be distributed among a variety of user groups, including townspeople, farming, industry, and energy. The purpose of this applied project was to design user personas which will be used by the developers at Arizona State University’s (ASU) Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) to improve the Smithsonian’s WaterSim America app (SWSA) that they designed for the new Smithsonian Institute’s Water Ways Traveling Exhibition (SWWTE) and to recommend improvements to the app. To do this, I created a contextual inquiry with select SWWTE user groups in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia to observe the app in the context of use. The primary goal of this research was to observe potential users engaging with the app and then interview them about their experiences with the app. Based on the research, I offer six recommendations to improve the educational value of the WSAA. This report includes the research methods of this study, participants’ feedback and seven user personas based on the research.