Creating an Effective Persona

When designing a persona, if you design for just one, you will have greater success.

A persona must answer three basic questions:

  • What are the users needs?
  • What are the users wants?
  • What are the users limitations?

Being more precise than accurate in a persona is more effective.

The Main Elements of a Persona

  • The Profile area
    • Basic demographic info
      • Age, residence, country, social class
    • Basic geographic info
      • Where they live and work
      • What it’s like in their area
    • Basic psychographic info
      • Social class
      • Lifestyle
      • Activities
      • Opinions
      • Motivations
      • Personality characteristics
    • User type
      • Novice, medium, advanced, expert
    • Persona name
  • Personality
    • Adjectives to describe the personality
      • Five Factor Model (Big Five)
      • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
        • MBTI Constructs (Four Letter Key Word)
          • Favorite world
            • Where and how one directs their attention and energy
              • Introvert – Alone in the inner world
              • Extrovert – On people and things in the outer world
          • Information
            • How one prefers to deal with information
              • Sensing – by focusing on the basic information
              • Intuition – By interpreting and adding meaning
          • Decisions
            • Refers to decision making
              • Thinking – Objectively thinking using logic and consistency
              • Feeling – Subjectively making decisions, considering other people and special circumstances.
          • Structure
            • How one interacts with the outer world
              • Judging – A preference towards getting things decided
              • Perceiving – Staying open to new information and options
      • Real-user interviews
  • Expertise
    • Proficiency levels related to the product
      • Computer and internet proficiency
        • Select the variables you want to represent depending on the product
        • Split variable into 4 levels: novice, medium, advanced, expert
  • What the user expects and wants / what frustrates the user
    • Mixes all persona elements: personality, proficiency, user experience goals
      • “Hide unnecessary process. This persona is not focused on control but on interaction.” (Interaction)
      • “Need clear text-blocks with more important concepts. Feels overwhelmed with information overload and content complexity.” (Content)
      • Build “must do” and “must never” sentences
        • “Must hide unnecessary processes.”
        • “Must never…”
  • Influences
    • People, brands, or products such as apps influence their use and relation to the internet or other devices
      • Use pictures to represent these
        • Ex: Children – Most of the apps the persona tries are games or activities for them
        • Ex: Friends – most app recommendations come from personas friends during a coffee break
        • Ex: iPad – This is the persona’s most used device.
        • Ex: Blogger – The persona uses a blog where they write about personal interest
  • Devices / Platforms
    • Which devices / platforms the user is familiar with and their level of familiarity
      • What devices the user uses for your product
        • Related devices and technologies and possible expectations
  • Used products
    • Products that are used by the persona in relation to the domain
      • Software / apps
        • Use a chart to present the most used software-app category
          • App: Games, photography, social media, others
          • Software: Business, design, utilities, other
  • Archetype
    • Summarizes the persona in a few words
  • Key quotes
    • Represent a comment that the persona would make
    • Reflects behavior and attitudes
      • Key quotes obtained through interview data
  • Experience / Goals
    • What the persona expects and what they want to be able to do with the domain
      • What the interaction with the system feels like to the users
        • User priorities and expectations
        • How the user feels when they interact with the product
          • Having fun, not feeling stupid, not wasting time
          • Feeling confident and secure with an online transaction
          • Obtained through interview and survey information
  • Brand-Relationship
    • Persona relationship with the product
      • Includes 4 areas:
        • Seek and Value – Most seek and value content or functionality from our brand (or competitor) for that persona
          • Select top content or functionality for user and organize them by relevance from top to bottom
        • Level of User – Brand-persona relationship
          • Level 1 – Do not know the brand or use our products
          • Level 2 – Recognize the brand but seeks directly into Internet
          • Level 3 – Knows and actively uses our products / services
            • Select level
        • Bubble Graph
          • Participation – How active is it that the persona does something with the product
          • Frequency – How often the persona visits the brand site
          • Other KPI’s – Brand loyalty, user status (potential, first-time user, regular, etc.)
            • Circle size reflects how much persona use the brand products or competitors
        • Relationship Key Quote – a brief quote that reflects persona relationship with  the brand / product (love it, hate it, etc.)
  • Picture
    • Picture of the persona that illustrates their personality and lifestyle
  • User type
    • A categorization of user expertise based on a four level scale

Gathering the information for the persona

  • Collect information
    • Interviews, etc.
  • Initial spectrum of potential users
  • Conduct real user interviews by selecting participants that match the initial spectrum
  • Look for patterns among your data and split them up into various categories
    • Look for trends within these categories
  • Create possible scenarios for the personas
  • Test the persona-scenario-product relationship
    • Define the major problems and limitations of the product



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s