Practicing Hitting My Target (Types)

Introduction

My capstone project has been moving along nicely. If you have not read about it thus far, here is the link to the list of all of the related posts. The name of this exhibit will be “Lifting the Universal Veil”. Essentially, the goal of my capstone is to create an interactive museum exhibit that shows guests how fantastic fungi can be. When considering this as the subject for my project, I took into account the lack of knowledge amongst the general public about the various interesting processes that these organisms are capable of performing and thought that I could tackle this as though it was a design problem and show people a new size of fungi through interesting and engaging design.

Credit to James Wainscoat

Defining My Target Types

As this project has begun kicking into a higher gear, my classmates and I were assigned various tasks to do as homework in order to do research on our various subjects. If you had not guessed, the assignment that I am going to be updating you all on today is none other than, target types. For those that do not know, target types are essentially a broader version of personas that designers create in order to get a better idea of the kind of people that they are designing for before they commit to any permanent design choices.

Credit to Possessed Photography

We chose to do target types instead of personas because our professor felt that creating one specific person for a persona was too specific of a task and leads to certain generalizations that could exclude outliers within said persona’s age range or areas of interest. Target types are much broader and take into account entire groups of people instead of tackling things from a smaller, individual level.

The Key Three

The class was assigned to create three different target types that might be worth keeping in mind while we designed our projects. These three groups were meant to encompass a sizable chunk of the audience that our projects could come into contact with. The titles for my three groups that I thought might wind up interacting with my exhibit are The Enthusiast, The Passerby, and The Indifferent.

The Enthusiast

This group consists of various mycophiles (fungal enthusiasts). Unlike much of the human population, these people see fungi as fascinating rather than things to avoid. Granted, there are a decent amount of people that are not particularly for or against mushrooms and such and would have no problems viewing or eating them, but these enthusiasts take it up a notch. They love these organisms and are enamored by the things that they can do. They would likely be adults of varying ages with occupations such as chefs, scientists, or designers/artists. I concluded that this group of people would:

Want/Need:

  • to bring friends
  • legible typography in a low lit room

Feel:

  • excited
  • mesmerized
  • intrigued

Care About:

  • nature
  • cooking
  • science
  • freedom/expression

Be Interested In:

  • potential drug use
  • camping or hiking
  • cooking
Credit to Eddie Kop

The Passerby

These individuals are unaware of the exhibit and do not feel strongly one way or the other about fungi. They could have happened across the exhibit by accident and wandered in because something caught their eye. This group acts as sort of a middle ground. While The Enthusiasts would love the idea of attending, and The Indifferent would rather leave (at least at first), The Passerby would have very few preconceived notions about the exhibit or about fungi. I felt that this group of individuals would likely be primarily guardians or teachers and the children that they are looking after, along with the occasional couple on a date. I concluded that The Passerby would:

Want/Need:

  • more information on what the exhibit is
  • components that could occupy a child
  • legible typography in a low lit room

Feel:

  • confused because they cannot tell what the exhibit is about with no prior knowledge of it
  • Intrigued because of all of the interesting color and interactive components of the exhibit

Care About:

  • learning
  • having an enjoyable/memorable experience

Be Interested In:

  • travel
  • movies
  • quality time
Credit to National Cancer Institute

The Indifferent

These individuals came across the exhibit either by complete accident or because someone else wanted/needed to go. Therefore, they are not at all invested in the content within the exhibit. They are likely either bored or distracted by other things. This is the group that I will have to make something impressive and eye-catching for in order to give them a reason to become invested. I thought that the majority of this group would primarily consist of people that are still in school and were required to go for an assignment. Since this is likely the case, I thought that they would:

Want/Need:

  • something that is going to entertain them
  • something eye-catching that would be worth stopping for

Feel:

  • preoccupied
  • uninterested
  • bored
  • confused

Care About:

  • going home
  • finishing whatever the task is that requires them to be there

Be Interested In:

  • watching television
  • texting
  • spending time with friends
Credit to Nicolo Canu

Wrapping up With Research

In conjunction with making these target types, we students were gathering research on relevant topics (in my case it was things like museums and museum visitors). One of the most influential pieces of information that I found was that the majority of individuals that attend museums (that are not specifically children’s museums) are primarily within an age range of 20–50 years old. I also found that seventy-six percent of all U.S. leisure travelers participate in cultural or heritage activities such as visiting museums (https://www.aam-us.org/programs/about-museums/museum-facts-data/). Information such as what I provided above (and much more) helped to illustrate the target types that I created. Both the research and the target types that were formed through said research will continually influence my design decisions that I make on every step of this journey that is capstone.

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Interactive Designer, Part-Time Doodler, Full-Time Daydreamer

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Cameron Baumgartner

Cameron Baumgartner

Interactive Designer, Part-Time Doodler, Full-Time Daydreamer

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