A user persona is a fictional character with traits and attributes that look very close to what your ideal customer or user would be. It's used to determine who we are talking to as a brand. The user persona can contain detailed information about the character, such as demographic, geographic, psychographic & behavioural traits.
The Purpose of a User Persona
By creating a user persona, we can learn a lot about our users: what their goals are, what they need from your product, how they think about the problem you're solving, and how they make decisions.
The goal is to help the design team keep the needs of these real users in mind as they design the interface, especially when there are trade-offs. User personas can also help ensure that your product meets your customers' needs, rather than simply providing what you think they want.
Personas also create focus. They create empathy for the people using your product or service. Instead of just creating something that looks nice on paper, you are building something that will help real people solve real problems in their lives.
Another critical benefit of personas is that they help you expand your marketing in new directions. A persona enables you to visualize who your typical customer is—not just what they look like or how much money they make—but also where they are, what they care about, and how they talk.
With many businesses focusing on Facebook ads, Google AdWords, or email marketing, these channels can get saturated pretty quickly. But if you can picture your customers as real people with unique interests and habits, it will be easier for you to find new channels for outreach like podcasts, message boards, and niche publications.
Behind every good user experience is a set of personas that guide the design. It is a specific, fully fleshed-out example of who your users are and what they want to do. To design for them, you need to know who they are. Here are the primary elements involved in building a user persona.
Demographics help us to understand where they are now and what they want. These are the statistical characteristics of an individual, which involve things like age, gender, income, marital status, ethnic background, educational level, and other biographical information about your users.
This information will help you understand what they value and their attitudes, which will help determine how they think and act. This information will also help you know how much time they can spend on your product or service.
Demographic data usually includes:
- Marital Status
Another element to consider in building a user persona is their geography. Geographic data can help you better understand a user's context and how it may influence their behaviours, which is essential to know when creating an experience. If you're designing a mobile app, are your users hanging out at home, or are they commuting to work on public transportation?
Where are your best users located if you're launching an eCommerce website? Do they live in an urban environment with plenty of options for shopping and dining, or are they more rural with limited access to stores and restaurants?
Understanding a user's geographic location will help you think about their lifestyle needs and how they will be using your product.
Geographic information commonly includes:
When creating personas, we focus on demographics, geographic information and behaviours. These are important, but they aren't the whole picture. It is crucial to consider psychographics, including attitudes, opinions, interests, activities, personality, and values. By identifying these attributes in your ideal users and customers, you can better understand their motivations for using or buying a product or service. It will also help you create content that appeals directly to them.
You may also look at how these factors influence your users' lifestyles and what they care about most in life. For example, if they're very busy people with little time on their hands, they'll likely want solutions that save them time rather than waste it.
Psychographics commonly involve:
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Scales
- Extraversion - Introversion
- Sensing - Intuition
- Thinking - Feeling
- Judging - Perceiving
Design should also involve the behavioural aspect. Examples of these are shopping patterns and decision-making processes. Behavioural patterns are essential in understanding your user persona's interests, lifestyle, aspirations, and pain points.
More than self-reports of their values and motivations, there is a difference between what people say and do. Behavioural patterns reflect accurate data on the decisions users make with their money. Other people might like to share their love for pets but never actually own one. Beyond preferences that they say they have, we want to look deeper into their actual buying decisions.
Think about their shopping habits and buying preferences. Is shipping important? How about product reviews and ratings? Does the consumer enjoy online shopping or in-store shopping? Does it matter if you offer deals, discounts, and freebies? If you know your user is price-sensitive, you can ensure your product's competitive pricing. If you know your user cares about customer reviews and ratings, you can make sure customers have an easy way to submit reviews on your website (for example, using a WordPress plugin).
Examples of behavioural data are:
- Brands & influencers followed
- Preferred Channels
When you're trying to reach the right audience for your business, it's essential to have a clear picture. The best way to do this is to create user personas. They should be as detailed as possible, incorporating demographics, psychographics, geographical location, and behavioural patterns. Real-world research into your target audience should also be the basis for this. When done well, user personas clearly understand who you are designing for.
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