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Table 1 Established personas

From: User-centred participatory design of visual cues for isolation precautions

PersonaDescriptionUser requirements
Julia, Internal Medicine Nurse, Age 25
• Julia began working in the internal medicine ward at the USZ directly after finishing her nursing degree. Having freshly finished her schooling, she looks up to the more experienced nurses.
• She is especially vigilant in her infection control practices, including isolation precautions, as this was a major focus of her training.
• When she is not sure about which isolation precautions she should use for a patient, she (erroneously) references the sign on the housekeeping cart.
• Signage should offer multiple levels of information for frequent versus rare users. For example, recognition of the standardised signage colour may be enough for frequent users to recall the necessary precautions, whereas rare users need to be reminded of the specific precautions.
• Target audience must be clearly distinguishable.
Sarah, Nursing assistant, Age 48
• Sarah has worked in several wards of the USZ. One of the highlights of her job is that it allows her to have a close relationship with patients.
• She has a hard time bringing up isolation with her patients because she sympathises with the emotional effects this may have. For the same reason, she sometimes neglects to respect hygiene measures such as hand hygiene and wearing gowns, as she feels this puts a separation between herself and the patient.
• Signage should aim to establish social norms, increase acceptability of performing infection prevention measures.
Paul, Emergency Ward Physician, Age 42
• During medical school in Germany, Paul chose to specialise in emergency medicine because Dr. House was his favourite TV drama and he enjoys the challenge and rush to resolve critical situations.
• Paul’s career took off quickly after he successfully published a highly cited paper in New England Journal of Medicine and he became known as an expert in fluid management in poly-trauma patients.
• In the rush of acute care situations, infection control measures sometimes take a back seat, but no one dares to correct this senior physician.
• Signage must quickly communicate essential information and must not require extra time.
• Barriers to performing isolation precautions (e.g. missing materials) should be removed.
• Signage should aim to support psychological safety (e.g. speaking up).
Omar, Porter, Age 55
• Prior to moving to Switzerland with his family five years ago, Omar was an elementary school teacher in Tunisia. He came to Switzerland with no prior German knowledge but was able to begin working in the hospital while simultaneously taking German classes.
• When he began working, he relied on clear photos and symbols to help him interpret written protocols.
• Signage must be able to communicate effectively with staff for whom German is not a native language, for example with self-explanatory images.
Teresa, Housekeeping staff, Age 46
• Teresa is specially assigned to work in the emergency ward, where they have specific cleaning and maintenance procedures from the rest of the hospital. Her native language is Portuguese, but her outgoing personality helped her to quickly learn German through chatting with her colleagues when she began working at the USZ, even picking up a Swiss German accent.
• She has been working in the emergency ward for 12 years now, and although she has no medical training, she is excellent at what she does.
• Signage content may need to be adapted for specific settings.
• Signage must be able to communicate effectively with staff for whom German is not a native language, for example with self-explanatory images.
  1. Legend: Personas, fictional characters based on input from real users, were established to understand the needs and goals of the individuals who will interact with the signage system and to guide the subsequent design process.