Meet our personas: Riccardo and Elke!

Personas are detailed descriptions of fictitious users, acting as a representative for some subset of the target user audience. They allow the designer to reason about his targeted audience in terms of only a few concrete (but fictitious) users, which helps to solve difficult design questions. Instead of asking “would our users be able to use this?” he can instead ask “would John be able to use this?” We created two personas to assist us with designing the user interface for our app: Riccardo and Elke.

1. Riccardo Martinez (21)


Riccardo is a Spanish exchange student who has just arrived in Leuven. He wants to become a doctor like his father so he enrolled in Medicine. His mother taught him how to cook, so he can be independent. He rents a small room in a house in Heverlee where he lives with four other students. So far he hasn’t had much contact with his housemates, as he’s a bit shy. He is a big soccer fan and is looking forward to go to matches of OH Leuven.


Riccardo speaks English fluently, but is not very social. He is a good student and a really good cook.


Riccardo would like to learn about the Belgian kitchen and meet new people. He would also like to lose some weight.


Riccardo has a smart phone, but isn’t really tech savvy. He uses it mostly to chat with his girlfriend in Spain. He attends every lecture he can and he studies hard, which doesn’t leave him much spare time.

2. Elke Vandamme (23)



Elke is a Flemish student from Deinze. She studies Communication Sciences and is in her final year. Elke is a peda resident and lives with ten other students on the same hallway. She is also active in a student organization and is in charge of their book store. She is a big fan of arts and even plays the saxophone herself.


She is very social and loves meeting new people. She not such a good cook and visits the Alma regularly.


Elke would mostly like to improve her cooking skills. She definitely wants to graduate this year.


Elke recently bought her third smart phone, a pink one. She uses it to stay in contact with her many friends through Facebook and Instagram. She is a good student, but also spends a lot of time hanging out with friends.



  1. These are some good personas, very life-like and they are perfect for the job. I like that you made a big difference between the two personas: one exchange student, new in the environment, and one student already known to the environment.

  2. (To continue Wouter’s content:) Moreover, they seem to be very complimentary in their goals. A match made in heaven: Riccardo could learn Elke to cook 😉

    An interesting goal you mentioned for Riccardo: losing weight. Are you going to include options in your application for a user to indicate what kind of food he wants to eat (non-fattening, vegetarian, etc.)

  3. I think it’s nice there’s an obvious contrast between your two personas, shy vs social, good vs bad cook

  4. The goals of Elke already hint to this, but I just wondered: are you going to do something with how good persons can cook? For example: someone that cooks really good (such as Elke) and wants to learn to cook even better. This person would perhaps not want to cook together with a freshman that only knows how to cook an egg (exaggerated, but you get my point).

  5. I wonder why none of them has a goal like: ‘Doesn’t want to throw away food’ or ‘Don’t want to spend money on ingredients that will never be used again’. Can I conclude then that your app will be more in the direction of social and meeting new people through cooking?

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