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Example Persona for Forest HMD David
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Example Persona for Forest HMD


Conscientious, but unsure

Age: 29

Online Access/Computers/Internet: David constantly uses an Android smartphone for work and family, he has fiber optic internet at home with one PC and one Amazon Fire tablet. Internet use averages 2 hours per day.

Comfort with technology: David is curious about technology but enjoys being outdoors more.

Familiarity with VR: David has never used VR. He understands AR & GPS with maps on his smartphone though, so he was intrigued when he heard that his Ecology course would require him to use a VR headset to learn something about wildlife census methods.

Role: David’s defined role is a first year college student at Unity College.

Primary goal: David has to take Ecology as part of his college program and a VR experience is within the course.

Emotional sensitivity: David is curious about VR and does not know how something fake or made up will help him learn something for Ecology class. David would prefer going outside, but the cold weather is closing in and he understands that the instructor has said that this VR experience has some ways of being better than being outside with a large group of students.

Example Summary with Narrative Plot for Forest HMD

Summary:  Counting moving animals in a habitat is a critical skill for environmental impact studies, outdoor industries, and ecosystem health. Moving animals, however, are hard to find and accurately count without a standardized approach. This VR experience will allow students to learn the skills of counting rabbits without negative environmental interference (bad weather or other users nearby in the forest).

Mood goal: The deciduous secondary forest will be daytime, sunny, and quiet.

Emotion target: David should feel more confident in knowing how to accurately conduct a field count of small animals.

Presence goal: David should feel fully surrounded by the forest.

Story arc

Introduction - Users of this VR experience will engage in a solo three minute rabbit counting experience in the Maine woods. Users will be measured on the ability to accurately find the available rabbits. Users will have some specialized tools available including a compass and a laser rangefinder. The user also has the ability to freeze time so they may accurately count and approach rabbits if they wish.

Set the Scene - It is sunny mid-morning in the forest.  The user is alone but has all of the tools they need.  The user has moved away from their vehicle to the target counting area. A short tutorial explains the few basic tools that the user is wearing.

Dilemma - Rabbits blend into the forest, first by coloring and their small shape, but especially with dappled sunlight and a slight breeze across the forest floor. Rabbits at first will freeze if they detect danger, then they will bolt and run away.  The user can find at least one rabbit within the first minute.

Crisis - The user sees a rabbit and moves closer.  They point to it to count it.  They see another rabbit, this one is too close!  It starts to run and the student misses clicking on it to count it.

Change - The user quickly remembers how to freeze time, does so, and clicks on the rabbit to count it.  After approximately three minutes, the simulation ends.

Resolution - The user sees the metrics of how they performed.  The user self-reports the counting data to their instructor.

Agency: The user can move in any direction but the virtual forest is approximately 5  acres in size.  The user can pause time.

Diegetic events: The forest gives the feeling of a real forest. The rabbits are small, hard to see, and fast.  The user feels challenged to move quietly but to also count accurately during the set time for the experience.

Sound: No sound programmed into the first version of the app.

Movement: The user can use the joystick to walk.