How to Build Quality Personas?
In the previous article we explained what personas are. In this article we will elaborate the thought process that goes into building great personas.
Begin with collecting data to try and better understand your end user. It is better to base your personas off past clients and real cases as possible. The more authentic your personas the more they will reflect real user experiences.
Once you have enough data, start to build at least 4 initial personas based on their pain points and motivations. In this phase don’t try to understand their motivations or pain points, just record the data.
In this phase you will test how realistic your personas function. Run your personas through scenarios to test how accurate they reflect your target user and adjust them if necessary.
Personas that have shown to be useful can be developed into full realistic user profiles in current projects. After the project is complete they can be used again on later projects that have similar user characteristics saving you a lot of time. Over time you will assemble a database of multiple personas that can be used over and over again.
What Should You Include in Your Persona?
When creating your personas, consider what aspects of an end user that are important to you. Below are some basic aspects to consider, but remember the best persona is the one that works best for your project.
You can build personas by made up names (ie. John Smith) or you can create descriptive characters (ie. Gary, the Sports Lover). Try to avoid celebrity names, and names that can create bias or prejudgement. (ie. Gary, Reluctant Online Buyer.)
You can use stock images, but it’s better to avoid photos of celebrities, coworkers, or any familiar or famous people. You need to create a new, unique identity that is unfamiliar to you.
A quote can also show off personality in a more natural way and help you connect more with a persona. The best way to build quotes is to use motivations and/or pain points for inspiration.
“Discovering a new great book is like discovering a whole new world of possibilities.”
Mark – The Book Worm
Backstory of your users can add depth. Include hobbies, education, and so on. What was their childhood like? Why did they choose their current job? How do they spend their free time?
Age, sex, income level, place of residence, and more. Pay attention to the job title since it shows the business and financial implications.
This part shows what drives your user persona. For example, would an ideal customer be more likely to buy a product that improves their career or their personal life?
This is important to understand what is important for the user and how you can enhance their experience.
Describe what irritates your users and what pain points they have. This often is the most important aspect of a persona.
This section shows what brands users like and choose to use and where they make their purchases and how often. This also helps you study the marketing strategies of these other brands and how they have successfully connected with their users.
While not always required, this can be very important when considering the final iteration of your product and where you will focus your marketing initiatives. Knowing the affluence of your users will give you a good insight into pricing options and selling strategies.
4 Examples of Different Personas
Creating great personas takes time. The best way is to use past clients and your experiences with them to build realistic and engaging personas. Flow has worked on countless projects for over 15 years. We leverage our experience to build accurate personas that will help you focus on your design needs.
Contact Flow for your design strategy. Read more on Design Rush