We are developing a website and we have different personas (to connect with certain user types). We think layperson is probably not the best and i was wondering if the community here might be able to suggest a few alternatives to "layperson". From our side a layperson would be anyone, a simple site user.
I wonder if this would be more suitable in English or even User Experience SE. But anyway, try a thesaurus. This one provides links to other words so you can keep probing to refine your meaning.
What's more important, if it's a persona analysis, "layperson" is destined to fail because it engulfs too much in the user spectrum. I'd recommend supplementing with an array of demographic information or even a couple scenarios (sometimes, even a picture) so that your audience can identify with the personas. Just "layperson" may conjure too many different concepts.
Also, a user can be a layperson at many contexts. For instance, if you're running a website selling sailboats. The layperson can be innocent at using a computer, or a newbie to sailing, or a newcomer to buying things that cost more than $10,000 online. You'd need to specify that as well.
You're going after kind of a weird requirement here. Usually a site will have a hierarchy of users such as
Admin > Moderator > User Sometimes there's a few other classifications, but each step up the tree inherits from
User and any other class before it.
Unless there's a real need to deviate from the standard, it's generally recommended to stick to them.
So presumably you want something more... nice sounding(?) than 'user', but with less potential to be stigmatizing as 'layperson' or my favorites such as illiterati or sheep.
You could invent a word specific to your circumstances such as member, constituent, or associate.
Depending on what you're doing, you could use a word more specific to the desired outcome, such as product tester, front-end developer, consumer experience analyst, or simply consumer.
It's also possible you could just come up with a default name like John Doe, the Great Gazoo, or Rumplestiltskin.