Personas: Why and How you Should Use Them?

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A. What is a user persona?

A user persona is a fictional representation of an ideal customer. A persona is generally based on user research and incorporates the needs, goals and observed behavior patterns of the target audience. Creating persona helps in understanding the user needs and behavior. Personas make the design task at hand less complex by guiding the ideation process thus helping to achieve the desired goal of creating a good user experience for the target user group.

B. What is the need of a user persona:

Understanding the needs of the users is very important in developing a successful product. Thus it is crucial to know who will be using the product. Well-defined personas enable to efficiently identify and communicate the user needs. A persona clarifies who is in the target audience by answering the following questions:

  • Who is the ideal customer?
  • What is the current behavior pattern of the user?
  • What is the need and goal of the user?

                                 

C. How to define a User Persona?

A well-defined user persona contains the following four pieces of information:

  • Header: The header includes a fictional name, image and quote that summarize what matters most to the persona. These features aid in keeping the design team focused on the user they are building the product for.
  • Demographic Profile: Demographic details are factual. It mainly includes the following four sections:
  • Personal Background: It includes details such as age , gender, ethnicity, education, persona group and family status.
  • Professional Background: It includes details such as job occupation, income level and work experience.
  • User Environment: It represents physical, social and technological context of the user.
  • Psychographics: It includes details such as attitude, interest, motivation and pain points of the target audience.
  • End Goal(s): The end goal is the motivating factor that inspires action and helps to know what do the users want by using the product.
  • Scenario: A scenario is a narrative that describes how a persona would interact with the product in a particular context to achieve the desired goal.

D. What are the steps to Create An Ideal Persona:

There are 10 steps involved in creating an ideal persona but sometimes it is not possible to include all the steps on the project.  The crucial steps involved in creating an ideal persona are outlined below:

  • Collecting Data: It is required to collect as much knowledge about the user as possible . Performing a high-quality research of the actual users in the user target group is essential.
  • Forming a Hypothesis: Based upon the initial research , a general idea of the various users within the focus area of the project is framed which includes the way the users differ from one another.
  • Acceptance of Hypothesis by everyone: The main purpose of this step is to support or reject the first hypothesis about the differences between the users.
  • Establishing a number: It is crucial to decide the final number of personas that needs to be designed for each user.
  • Describing the persona: The persona should be described in such a  way that it is able to develop solutions , products and services based upon the needs and goals of the users.
  • Preparing situations or scenarios for persona: This step is directed at creating scenarios that describe solutions.
  • Obtaining acceptance from the organization: In this step the participants are asked to tell their opinions.
  • Disseminating Knowledge:  In order to let the participants use the method, the persona descriptions should be disseminated to all.
  • Preparing scenarios: Personas have no value in themselves, until they become a part of a scenario.
  • Making ongoing adjustments: It is important to revise the descriptions on a regular basis.

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