A user persona is a semi-fictional character created to represent the different users that might use your product or service. It helps you understand the needs of your users based on their behaviours, goals, and experiences. Additionally, a user persona inherently makes your design empathetic. It’ll show you the different perspectives of the different people that use your product. These perspectives are meaningful as you’ll be able to design your products or services for those that will use it.
Creating semi-fictional characters based on the people that use your product seems easy, right? Well you’re wrong. It’s much more than a fun activity. A lot of research needs to be done in order to make the most of it. Here are a few things to consider when creating a user persona:
You need to know who your users are. This includes their professional and personal life. A 50 year old man can be working the same job and earning the same amount as a 25 year old woman, that doesn’t mean they share the same interests or use the same products for the same reasons. When doing research for a user persona, you need to go further than surface level research. You need to truly understand who your users are, if not, the use of your persona will become counterproductive.
2. Create Several Personas
As mentioned above, you need to create a few personas based on your different user groups. Every individual has different wants and needs, they have different experiences. When creating user personas you should recognize those differences in order to cater your product towards those users. It’s good practice to also recognize your existing customers and generate personas from them. This will not only provide a good baseline, but you can also create what you would want in an ideal persona or customer. The difference between the personas could highlight areas that you may need to address in your product or service.
3. The Context
Don’t forget the context of the product or service you’re creating a user persona for. If you’re creating a persona for a music platform, you don’t need to do research on what your users have for breakfast. It’s important to go into detail but be strategic about it. Don’t waste your time on collecting information that won’t help you. One way to gain more context is to ask questions. What is the user seeing, hearing, saying, or thinking? This type of empathy mapping will raise questions, but also provide more relevant information.
User personas have a lot of benefits to them from understanding the users and making informed decisions to aligning your team. With the information you obtain from your user personas, you can design products to actually match the needs of your consumers, we can help you with that!
At Impact Signal, we create a lot of user personas with our clients. We provide a full service and can host workshops with teams to help them understand who their customers are and identify the nuances that help businesses and organizations interact with them more successfully. Contact us if you’d like to discuss how we can help you create or improve your user personas.