Since social cohesion and inclusion is an important part of the cities and the libraries agenda, a look into the conditions, motivations and concerns of special need groups was undertaken. This was done to gain empathy for such users, as the end product/service designed should be friendly to them as well.
Major questions addressed were:
who are these special need people? what problems do they face?, how do they currently cope with them?, what (and when) do people find themselves in a need?, what are possible aid solutions?
By special needs citizen we imply people in poverty, immigrant population,
newcomer population, lone-parent families, people with home language not Dutch, visible minority status, unemployed, youth unemployment, less than high school education, households in core housing need. The most important need for them is to not feel different than others, this can be achieved community support. For example by helping migrants to adjust to dutch culture, students to learn the dutch language, helping an elderly woman with household chores or participating in shared activities.
Other special needs like lack of education, technology challenged would also need special consideration when offered civil services, most importantly by keeping alive traditional channels of communication like letters, face to face contact, telephone.
The information to create the personas was collected through literature, interviews from social NGO and voluntary organisations in Delft which including Buren hulp central, Bedrijf en samen leving Delft and Wat eten wij vandaag. Additional to that a creative facilitation session was conducted with students of the TUDelft having experience working with special need groups on academic projects.
And the personas that came out of it: