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User Persona

A user persona is a profile of an imaginary person who would use a website. The persona is normally based on the target consumers and helps to define who a site is for and what their needs are. These persona’s are created at the beginning of a design phase to help identify the direction of the design. Once they are created, they can be referenced at a later date when someone on the team encounters an obstacle or needs help making a decision based on customer interests.

An example of a marketing persona. Via Xtensio.

An example of a marketing persona. Via Xtensio.

The persona is a representative of a broader customer group, and as such, you may have to create multiple personas for one project. The persona should list the basic personality traits, preferences and relevant data to your business. User personas are created to help you understand your customers, and can take many of the abstract areas of business and make them easier to digest. Referring to a persona rather then just raw data on your customer can make it easier for decision-makers to reason out the best course of action.

  • Analytics
  • User Experience
  • User Pain Points
  • Social Media
  • Website Design
  • Writing Direction and Voice
  • Brand Identity

Some tips on making good persona’s are:

  1. Always use real data. Never make things up.
  2. Use customer surveys for quick data collection
  3. Create multiple personas to represent different groups.  Whether that be by personality, ethnicity, or product user, this is important to help understand your largest customer segments.
  4. Detailed Bios.  Use as much information you have to create a more human bio to make the personal more human.