GNOME Sample Personas

This post gives a couple of examples of GNOME personas. Personas are fictional characters that represent the different user types of a website or a product, you can read more about it in my previous post.

What kind of people I imagine when I think about typical Linux users:

  • a person who is not a developer and whose job is not connected with informational technology — somebody who just uses computer to browse the web, communicate with friends and family, browse music or photo library etc.
  • an advanced user — a software developer, or somebody who uses computer professionally, feels free using Terminal, has deep understanding of how OS, apps and hardware work.

Based on this I wrote two more detailed user persona descriptions that are meant to build better user understanding.
Meet Hannah and Dinesh 🙂


Age: 38

Gender: female

Location: Berlin, Germany

Occupation: Teacher and Instructional Designer

Personal Background:
For the last 14 years Hannah has been working as a teacher of English and Literature. Recently she has started working on learning design, as the school where she works began experimenting with blended learning model. Instructional design is her part-time job and a hobby. Hannah is very hardworking and loves both her jobs. She doesn’t have much free time, but every weekend she meets with her sons and their families.

Technology Comfort Level:
Hannah is an average user. She started using a computer at work, then she got a computer at home for her children, she got her personal computer about 10 years ago. At work she uses apps and web services to accomplish her tasks and communicate with colleagues. At home she just browses the web and does email. She is still not very confident when something goes wrong or she needs to use a new app or do a new task. When something goes wrong and she cannot fix it, she asks her sons or colleagues for help.

Use of GNOME:
Hannah works on a desktop computer running on Linux at school. It works well for her tasks and she doesn’t want to switch between different apps and file formats, so she asked her son to install the same operating system on her personal laptop. At work she mostly uses LibreOffice applications to design and develop content for courses, and Polari to communicate with her colleagues.


Age: 23

Gender: male

Location: Toronto, Canada

Occupation: Computer Science student at University of Toronto

Personal Background:
Dinesh is a 3rd year student. He is fond of technologies and programming since childhood. Currently he is looking to get a part-time job as a front-end developer. Dinesh’s hobby is robotics, — he builds a drone with his friend, and visits meetups for robotics enthusiasts. In his free time he watches series and reads.

Technology Comfort Level: Dinesh is an advanced user, he spends most of his time on the computer. During many years of active computer using he tried all operating systems and device configurations. Now he is using a desktop PC and a laptop, both running Linux.

Use of GNOME:
Apart from occasional use of popular GNOME apps available by default, he uses Boxes to test his work in different environments and gedit as a code editor.


2 thoughts on “GNOME Sample Personas

  1. These are great sample personas! I liked the Hannah persona; she felt very real. I have several friends who are just like her – they would describe themselves as “casual” users of their computers, and frequently need help from friends if something goes wrong. I think this “casual user” persona represents a large number of users.

    Dinesh is also well written. Having recently worked in higher ed for 17 years, I saw many students exactly like him in our Computer Science program. It’s interesting that you mentioned Dinesh is a 3rd year student. I think this is equivalent to a “junior” in the US college system (“senior” would be your last year in college). At the university where I worked, our Computer Science students participate in a major project as part of their third year. For the last several years, several of these projects involved robots or drones. So these details really made me feel like I knew Dinesh as one of our students.

    Great job!


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