Research-based Personas 🤓
Have you ever been in a work meeting where you or your team talk about “users”, but everyone has different users in mind? Have you ever had problems when it comes to synthesizing and communicating the results of your user research? If you or your team have encountered any of these situations, the solution is to create a persona. 🙌
“Great design is anchored in a deep understanding of your user. After all, you are creating something for someone. That "someone" is a person, and the better you understand that person, the more engaging the design will be and the better it will solve the person's problem.” ― Joe Pesot & Sarah Plantenberg. "Get started with Enterprise Design Thinking" IBM
A persona is an archetype of your users. It is based on research and the data collected about the users' profile, context and their real needs with respect to a product, service or experience. In addition to demographic information, such as age, gender and occupation, personas include a detailed description of the users' needs, concerns, preferences, and goals.
Creating personas helps to establish alignment within teams, whilst also achieving a common understanding of the targeted user groups. It humanizes users. With personas, we avoid developing solutions or features that only fit polarized user types or which do not solve the users' real problems. Personas allow streamlining processes, avoiding wasting resources, and empathizing with our users.
Building a persona requires prior research to understand our real users. A persona developed based on a mere idea or perception of your users could be counterproductive, since you may end up guiding your team down the wrong path, wasting time and resources. The first step in creating a persona is, therefore, research.🤓
👉 Conduct research to collect data about your users from at least three different sources, such as: (1) user or competitors reports and databases, (2) surveys, (3) interviews.
👉 Share this information with your team.
👉 Discuss the research findings with your team and organize them by topic: demographics, general interests, technology adoption, skills, or behaviours related to your service or product. If available, include the users' main goals, pain points and gains or benefits as well.
👉 Once the information is organized, give your persona a name and define scenarios where your product or service is relevant for your user.
👉 As a final step, collect the key research findings in a Persona Map. This process will help you define and visualize the most important characteristics of your persona.
It does not matter if it is Design thinking, UX research, design research, market research, you can work with your team or alone with this Persona workshop in Miro. 👇
A persona is the result of a research process to understand your users. Personas are not the first step of a user-centric process, but rather one of the end results. Make sure to introduce your persona to your team, promote its use, and keep improving it based on new observations about your users and their needs. One additional recommendation: if you're at an MVP stage, try to develop a single persona that represents 80% of your potential users. If you already have a more established product or service, develop up to three different personas. Creating more personas than what we can actually remember could hinder the adoption of your personas.
☝ Remember: personas do not arise from your imagination, they are the result of a research process. 👀
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