How to Make a User Persona

6minutes read
how to create user personas

A user persona is one of the user-centered design tools for a product or service that is based on the idea that products should be built around people and their goals, rather than teaching people how to use products and “Design for everyone”. User persona discovery’s key challenge is to understand what the user needs through their behavior, attitudes, and goals, showing empathy and design thinking.

In this article, we want to share in more detail way what a user persona is, when, and what for it is used. We also offer you a step-by-step guide on how to create an effective UX pesonas for your business.

What is a user persona and when should you use it?

According to HubSpot research, using personas made websites 2-5 times more effective and easier to use by target users. That’s why creating persona makes sense if you target your audience and want them to take actions faster.

So, what is a user persona?

A persona is a user archetype that represents a specific behavioral model. In other words, this is a description of a group of users with their expectations, experiences, desires, embodied in one fictitious profile.

The content of a person may vary, but there are 3 main components:

  • User description (demographic and psychographic data). As a rule, it includes information about age, gender, occupation, goals, motivating, and frustrating factors.
  • Description of the environment (context of use: where and when the interaction takes place).
  • Description of tasks (what tasks the user performs, how often, etc.)

Characters are needed to get closer to a real client and they used the same references and universal communication in a team without cognitive distortions and generalizations. At the same time, one should not confuse characters with user segments, since building a user persona only based on quantitative statistical analysis is not the right way.

what is a user persona
how to make persona ux

Of course, characters should be based on user research to be accurate and represent the actual users of the product. Ideally, the persona creation process should be a part of the product research phase before the actual web or app UX design and development process begins. Each fictitious user’s behavior should be based on actual aggregated data derived from the behavior of real users.

A step-by-step guide on creating a user persona

1) Collecting valuable data

To collect the information you need, first, you need to conduct a survey. There are two methods of gathering information – a questionnaire and an interview. The first is a paper or digital version in the form of a questionnaire with a list of questions that the respondent can answer individually. Usually, these polls consist of closed-ended questions, but some questionnaires allow open-ended questions to get more detailed answers. The three most commonly used questionnaire methods are self-completion, group administration, and household drop-off. Among these three researchers nowadays, self-completion is used more often.

Interviewing is the second approach and is usually more personal and exploratory. The researcher can ask clarifying questions to gain a deeper understanding, but the downside of the interview is its laboriousness. The three most commonly used face-to-face interview methods are telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews, and online interviews.

For example, you can create a small survey in Google Forms and ask your audience to customize it for a couple of minutes. You can request through different communication channels: newsletter, banner on the site itself. It is also great to use social networks for surveys where the most loyal audience is subscribed to you.

how to create user personas valuable data
how to create personas ux valuable data

In addition to the mentioned above, Google Analytics has comprehensive tools for fishing out a wide variety of data and facts about users. In addition to the data itself, you have goal funnels, behavior maps, events, and other organizing data methods into more meaningful streams in your arsenal.

2) Create multiple user personas for various target groups

Each user persona must have:

  • Name: It can be realistic, it can be taken from a real customer, or it can be a descriptive label such as “John, the thrifty shopper.”
  • Photo: Always try to add a face to the name. Standard photographs are fine, but avoid using photographs of celebrities, coworkers, or other familiar faces that may have built-in connotations and assumptions. The idea is to create a new, original identity.
  • Personal Quote / Motto: Like photography, this helps to flesh out a person to appear more real.
  • Biography: Give a little background to make the person understandable. What was their childhood like? Why did they choose their current job? How do they spend their free time? These tiny details could influence future strategic choices.
  • Demographics: Age, Gender, Income, Location.
  • Personality Traits: Low-attention people want faster website designs. Cautious people are more likely to compare products. Personality traits are one of the most useful features for a user persona, so choose them carefully.
  • Motivation: Like personality traits, it helps you get inside the client’s head and understand how they think. For example, will a customer be more likely to buy a product to improve their career or personal life? It depends on what motivates them more.
  • Goals and Frustrations: Their scope is directly related to your needs. A lifestyle company will pursue public life and career goals, while a technology company can hone in on more effective goals that they hope to accomplish with their software.
  • Preferred brands and influencers: You can tell a lot about a person, which brand design they like, and which people influence their decisions. You can also study the marketing strategies of these brands to understand their tactics applied to you.
how to create user personas checklist
how to create personas ux checklist

To initiate the persona creation process, begin defining the characteristics of the users’ persona observed in the custom user studies. Group these characteristics into clusters. Some clusters seem too similar, combine them or eliminate any attributes that seem less important to the business. After individual clusters’ appearance, additional details will make the character more realistic, believable, and memorable.

Your goal should be to create a believable and lively character. Avoid adding extraneous details that have no design implications. Their function is to help remember what they show the # 1 person.

3) Share persona across your team

Your user persona will not be of great value if you do not spread it throughout your organization. Any member of your company must be familiar with the person. This is necessary so that the product is more user-oriented, and you don’t have any problems with user flow in the future.

creating user personas and sharing across team
create user persona and share it with your team

If you already have a project and you see problems with user flow, then we recommend that you read our article on UX audit and how your business can benefit from it.

How long does it take to create a user persona?

Experience and research show that depending on the degree and depth of research and the size of the company, creating a character takes from 3-9 working days if only one employee is involved in the process, or approximately 1.5 to 5 working days with two employees. Empirical-based characters take longer than non-empirical-based characters.

how long does it take to create a user persona
what time do you need to create a user persona

Wrapping up

Even after you think you’ve finished the interview and your persona is ready, don’t be so sure. After its creation, you should develop user personas, add new necessary clarifying information, and remove unnecessary ones to bring your user persona to the ideal. If you find an approach to your audience, she will also respond in response, and you will surely understand what they want and satisfy their desire one hundred percent.

The main thing is to remember that your users are the key to the success of your project. Take time for users and their desires, and then you will be precisely on the same wavelength as them. You will be using their products or solving their problems.

Our Gapsy Studio designers will be happy to help you create a good user persona to make a functional, cost-effective product that won’t be left without attention by the users. Check out our works on Dribbble to be sure that we are experienced in design, and thanks to the variety of our services, we can handle any of your ambitious desires.

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