Writing Assignment #1
Writing Three Personas
Summary of the Assignment:
• Task: In this assignment, you will write three personas to prepare for writing
assignment #2, the set of instructions that explain how to accomplish a task on a website.
You want to read the instructions for writing assignment #2 before writing your
• Length: 120-250 words for each persona.
• Graphics: You are not required to use any graphics. If you would like to include a photo
for each persona, you may.
Brief Description and Strategies to Follow:
In week 1, you listened to a podcast interview with Giuseppe Getto and Keith Amant about
personas. You also read two articles by Geoff Hart on the use of personas in technical writing
and one article by Matt Eland.
In this assignment, you will write three personas for the set of instructions you will write for
writing assignment #2. Please include the following information for each persona:
• a summary of the persona, including the persona’s name, occupation, and age
• goals for the persona: why the persona would want to accomplish the task on the web that
you will be describing in writing assignment #2
• potential problems or unique situations: for the task that you are describing for writing
assignment #2, describe what frustrations, challenges, pain points, or unique needs that
the person might have in completing the task.
For each persona, you must list
o at least one pain point that the person experiences when navigating a website or
o at least one special situation that requires attention in your set of instructions.
Getto and Amant mentioned pain points in their interview. Perhaps the persona is
nervous about putting credit card information in a website, has vision problems when
navigating the web, or simply has never used the web before.
Perhaps the persona is not particularly nervous about completing your task but has a
unique need. Perhaps she must use the PayPal option because she does not want to use
her credit card. Perhaps she will use a gift card for the site when paying (if your set of
instructions involves paying for something online). Perhaps she needs to create a gmail
account because she does not want to use his work email in filling out the interface to
complete the task (if your set of instructions involves inputting an email address).
The sample assignments provided in the class for writing assignment #1
demonstrate some pain points or special needs that personas can have. Make sure
to look at the sample assignments.
Ideally, your three personas will not be experts at attempting the task you are describing.
For each one, you should list at least one pain point or at least one unique characteristic
that will need to be accommodated in writing assignment #2.
Your instructor will notify you of the due date.
Writing Assignment #3
Quick Start Guide
for Your Set of Instructions for a Website
Summary of the Assignment:
• Task: In this assignment, you will write a one-page quick start guide for the set of
instructions that you wrote for writing assignment #2.
• Length: There is no minimum or maximum word count. However, your quick start
guide can be no longer than one page.
• Graphics: You must include some graphics to help the user follow the guide.
o As with writing assignment #2, all graphics should be screen captures of the
website you are demonstrating.
o The graphics do not need to be labeled.
Resources to Use and Strategies to Follow:
Review the Resources on Quick Start Guides in Content in week 3 of our class. In addition, a
list of Sample Quick Start Guides is provided in week 3 in Content. While these quick start
guides are longer and more involved than the one you will be writing, you might find the
strategies used in them to be helpful. Some of them emphasize images while using very little
text, while others feature quite a bit of text but also incorporate images strategically.
For this assignment, imagine that the user for your set of instructions (writing assignment #2)
wants a one-page guide as a reference for the future when he or she wants to accomplish the task.
The advantage of a one-page guide is that the user can place the guide on a desk or tabletop or
attach it to a wall or bulletin board. The user can then look at it while going through the steps.
No pages need to be turned. If the user desires, he or she can laminate the one-page quick start
guide and keep it permanently for future reference.
Quick start guides serve as excellent documents to reference when the user needs to perform the
task again but needs a refresher on how to do it.
Since your quick start guide will be refresher on how to accomplish the task, your quick start
guide can be written to someone who has already gone through the steps and is quite familiar
with your set of instructions. You do not have to accommodate the three personas you wrote for
writing assignment #2. The individual using your quick start guide will be someone who has
performed the task before but just needs a convenient guide to remind him or her of the steps.
Sections to Include in Your Set of Instructions:
The quick start guide will include the following sections:
• A very brief overview about the task. This can be one sentence.
• Step-by-step instructions
o number all of the steps
o provide graphics as appropriate. You have to keep your guide to one page. For
this reason, you need to discern what types of graphics you want to include and
how many to include.
Often, quick start guides are heavy on images and light on text.
▪ All graphics will be screen captures of the website.
▪ The graphics do not need to be labeled.
Your instructor will notify you of the due date. If an additional draft is necessary, your instructor
will let you know.
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