Beyond getting to know the people who might engage with your experience, another thing to consider here, is how you might recruit people to your experience (as participants, facilitators or the rest) - will you go out in person, will you advertise, will you allow people to 'discover' it?
Gaining an insight into the people who may be involved in your experience - as participants, as facilitators, as financiers - will help to shape your design.
Considering the people who might be involved:
Beyond direct involvement in the experience, there may be people/bodies who may be impacted by activities occurring as part of the experience:
For the purposes of the framework, people are considered at 3 different levels based on their level and type of involvement in the experience.
These are the people who will engage in your experience, who will recommend it to others, who will remember it.
If you don't have a target audience in mind, see below for suggestions on finding people!
Find out about these people:
Facilitators are directly involved in the running of the experience. Be this as part of the experience interactions, where you have actors guide participants (a la Blast Theory works), or people who will provide back-end system support such as monitoring and providing responses.
Depending on the complexity of your experience, and the level to which the experience system operates, you may or may not require facilitators. If you have an experience that is solely operated by an automated system (standardised responses to interactions that occur) then the need for facilitators will be restricted to a monitoring style role rather than direct intervention.
Local business may be interested in getting involved financially, in kind or for some free exposure.
Depending on the level of site specificity and whether you intend to place elements in the site, you may need to gain approval from local authorities (council, building managers etc). If placing signs in the site, or physical artefacts you may be restricted by council bylaws so find out early what is involved. For example the Coast/BBC experience signage needed to be adapted to suit council bylaws (positioning, size & erection of the signs were all governed by council).
Beyond bylaws, local authorities may have community incentives or grants in place that may be able to provide financial or resource support for your design. Community groups in the area may have useful contacts for you to work with in getting things setup.
Ways to find out about people would be:
Is your experience meant to attract people to the site? Or is it going to be designed for the current inhabitants? Consider:
If you are creating your experience for a particular audience, find out a little bit about them. Basic demographics, interests (cultural/social/recreational), language, dress, attitudes - all of these can help to shape the design of your experience to appeal to your audience.
Beyond asking who is more likely to already own the technology, or more likely to engage with that technology, the best approach here is to consider your potential people from a site focus.