We’re collecting user personas for open data — send us yours!

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Our open data work with Madison, WI resulted in the creation of six user personas.
This work was done in partnership with Reboot.

Open data has a potential for use by a wide range of community members — but only if their diverse user needs are met. Yet too often, open data portals and programs provide data in a way that doesn’t always work for everyone. We’re looking to change that.

This summer, we’re doing a project to collect all existing examples of cities’ user personas for open data and government websites, and help develop best practices for other cities that are looking to create them. We’re interested in both general personas and those that are subject-specific (for example, personas for health data users).

We encourage cities to develop user personas to describe the major categories of users — and ideally they can then keep those personas in mind to ensure that their open data is accessible to all the types of people who might use it. We recently helped Madison, WI create detailed user personas and user journeys, and have held persona workshops with city officials around the country.

Has your local/state government or community nonprofit created user personas for open data or public-facing websites? We’d love to be able to include them as examples for this project. Fill out the form below or email us at opencities@sunlightfoundation.com.

And if you’re interested in this project, stay tuned this summer!