How to Create User Personas with Examples

What is a user persona?

A user persona is a representation of your target users or customers. Personas are not created out of thin air but are based on research and relevant data.

  • Create a product that considers different types of users.
  • Prioritise what’s critical and what’s not.
  • Align assumptions to work together efficiently.

What is the difference between user and proto persona?

User Persona Example
User Persona Example
  • Designing a new product without much data.
  • Extending your product to appeal to a new type of users.

How to create user personas?

Your user personas can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be. A user persona can have:

  • Psychographic (interest, lifestyle, values, behaviour, goals, pain points)
  • Scenarios and how they would react to it (Optional)

1. Research, research, research

This is the most important step in creating a user persona. Without reliable and comprehensive research, your user persona is purely a work of fiction.

  • What’s their demographic profile?
  • What do they want?
  • What are the issues they face in getting what they want?
  • What are the triggers or motivating factors for them to look for your product?
  • User interviews and tests
  • Focus groups and case studies
  • Surveys and feedback
  • Guerrilla interviews
  • Market research and trends

2. Segment your data

By now, you will start to detect patterns and similarities in your data. You might hear the same issue or goal mentioned by many of your users in their interviews. You may be aware of a competitor name that keeps getting mentioned in surveys and feedback forms. And you’ll soon see a theme emerging from all the research you’ve done. In short, you can see the silhouettes of your personas now.

  • (Goal) Majority of the students interviewed said their main goal of exercising is to lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • (Pain Point) But they can’t afford personal trainers and gym memberships on their student budget.
  • (Trigger) They generally get serious about exercising on certain milestones such as birthdays and the start of a new year.

3. Draft your personas

It’s time to bring your personas to life. You will assign them a photo, name, and other demographic data that reflects your research. Include their goals, pain points, and motivation. Finally, add other relevant data such as their personality, preferences, and lifestyle.

User Persona
User Persona

Handy Tips for Creating User Personas

1. Create scenarios for further exploration

If you want to delve further into a persona, you can create scenarios and think about how they would react to a situation. It’s highly useful when you’re exploring a new use case or trigger point for your product.

2. Use visuals

Sometimes, it’s easier to describe something visually instead of using text. For example, when describing someone’s personality as introvert or extrovert, using a sliding scale gives a much better picture, rather than writing, “Somewhat an introvert.”

3. Don’t bother with irrelevant data

The purpose of creating personas is to help you build better products. If you’re building a personal budget app for parents, don’t bother querying about their music or food preferences. But that information may help if you’re designing t-shirts for them, because it is a window into their personalities.

4. Summarise your personas

A persona is more memorable with a summary such as a quote that embodies them. The quote could encapsulate their goals or pain points. For example, a user persona planning to buy a house would have a summary of, “I want to save money to buy my first home within 3 years.”

5. Never set your personas in stone

You are continually learning about your users, and so, your user personas are always evolving. It is not a set and forget exercise. Every time you learn something new or make a new discovery, you need to update your persona to reflect your customers closely.

Family first // Principal @relabstudios // Customer-obsessed digital design agency // Design sprint advocate // Melbourne // Say hello @alhermanto

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