Personas are fictitious characters that are created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic that might use a site or product.

The TCBOK development committee created personas that should represent the majority of users who might be accessing TCBOK. The technical communication community is so diverse that there is no way we can create enough personas to exactly represent everyone—that would take an infinite number of personas!

Instead, these personas are intended to represent a cross-section of the community. For example, one persona represents actively working technical writers wanting to keep skills current. That persona alone might represent a majority of people visiting the site.

Another point to keep in mind is that personas include very specific examples of how a person might use TCBOK. For example, the person in the “actively working technical writer wanting to keep his skills current” persona comes to the site to learn more about DITA.

We invite you to explore the personas and to create additional personas if you discover that the existing set does not include an important niche audience. Each story includes specific examples of how the person might use TCBOK.  For example, the persona for working technical writers may use TCBOK to learn more about DITA.

The Personas

Click a persona to find out about that persona and how they might use TCBOK. Follow their information search, with links to pages they would read.

Alicia Madison College Dean Learning about Technical Communication and Technical Communication Programs

Anu Patel: Academic Program Director Preparing for Institutional Program Review

Ashley Konrad: Technical Communication Teacher

Caroline Landry: Lead Writer in a Company Moving into International Markets

Carrie Watson: Academic Practitioner Designing a Curriculum

Consuela Roehl: Technical Communicator Whose Responsibilities are Being Outsourced

Eric Hernandez: High School Student Planning Technical Communication Career

James Ventura: IT Project Manager Wanting Effective Communication Practices for Team

Jennifer Bennett: Technical Communication Student

Jimmy Chin: College Student Planning Technical Communication Career

Kate Watkins: Information Development Manager Creating a Technical Communication Department for the Company

Linda Etesh: IT Practitioner Wanting to Change to a Technical Writer Career

Maarten van Gelten: Translation Manager Who Wants Less English Text

Marcia Houston: Practitioner Wanting to Do More Web and Usability Work

Margy Statler: Technical Communicator with Accessibility Needs

Randy Green: Technical Writer Wanting to Stay Current

Rick Sanchez: Technical Communication Student

Robert Haines: Engineering Supervisor Wanting Information About Mentoring and Technical Communication

Stephen Bakke: Technical Communication Professor

Sudha Gupta: Human Resources Manager Needing to Hire Technical Communicators

The Persona Matrix: Comparing Information Needs

A graduate level class of the Mercer University MSTCO program under the direction of Dr. Marjorie Davis created a matrix of the personas created by the TCBOK Committee and personas created by the class.  In this matrix, the needs of the various users of TCBOK are identified using a card-sorting approach and result in links between the needs of the user and the information available on TCBOK.