User personas are now used by digital marketers as means to target specific users of a website. Personas are not real people but the profile is obtained through data taken from interviews and other user research. The main purpose of creating user personas is to define a realistic character that is most likely to visit the website. The goal is for a better understanding of the user in order to provide a better customer experience. The result would be a visual document that would serve as a guide for the design process. It can include an image, description or any behavioral pattern expected in relation to the product.
Misconceptions about user personas
Personas may not include all types of user but pinpoints the most important audience.
The aim of personas is to build positive customer experiences. It differs from marketing personas concentrating on user segmentation and aims to look for new customers.
User personas are based on data and research. It is not based on fictitious users.
Personas are not fixed. Just like the products that may change from time to time, adjustments need to be made. Businesses should monitor the changes to always have updated personas.
What are the benefits of user personas?
- Adds a personalized touch
Creation of a user persona can add a personalized touch instead of the impersonal process during data collection. It helps the researcher with a persona so that they can resonate with. In other words, it allows a greater understanding of user needs as well as what the researcher may need from the user.
- Allows a smoother process
When personas are identified, the process can also be streamlined and standardized. A more stable way of doing things will be possible. The actions of the user can be anticipated. An example would be the login process. By understanding the user intent. The process can be optimized. The user can be assisted to create an account or login using other means like Facebook or Google. If the user is computer-savvy, they would likely opt for existing logins which makes the process faster.
- Improves communication
Communicating with clients will be easier with user personas. This is because the need and requirements have been anticipated. Clients would feel that they can connect with the business.
- Improve quality of the product
The more there is an understanding of user needs, the more the products can be improved. Users will eventually be satisfied with the product or service.
- Ensure that everyone is in the same page
From the graphics designer, web developer and content creators, if there is an identified persona, everyone will be in the same page. Once a common ground is established, it is no loner difficult to address the requirements of the customer.
Creating a User Persona
Here are the steps to derive user personas:
Conduct user research
Qualitative and quantitative research on user data must be conducted. Be sure to balance both approaches. The result will depend on the how much time is given to the research.
Examples of quantitative research:
- Online surveys
- Web analytics
Examples of qualitative research:
- Focus groups
- User interviews
- Usability tests
- Contextual interviews
Organize the research
A condensation of data should be made to give a solid analysis. Each user’s behavior and requirements should be considered for a customer experience profile. With the quantitative research and with the use of graphs, trending behavior can be established, WIth qualitative research, using a simple method like note taking can show trending or similar needs.
Similar answers to interviews and surveys is a good indicator also.
How many personas
After gathering all relevant data, there is now an understanding on the different personas. Next step is to get them organized. There are two classes:
- Primary personas – These are the relevant personas and the decision makers who buy products or avail of the services. They are the focal point and the target group/
- Secondary personas – These are customers who have additional needs. These can be people who have visual impairments and should be given consideration on the website layout and functionality.
It is time to narrow down to specifics. Describe each persona into:
- Name – Create a name to make the persona more realistic.
- Image – This can be an illustration or a human images,
- Demographics – Should include family status, location, income category, and other details
- Other relevant information
Integrate other personas
Now that the personas are complete, it is time to put them into practice. The app used may have categories wherein an indication of what persona is used. This keeps all stakeholders on the same page. Be sure to let everyone be aware of the personas involved.
By understanding each user’s motivation and goals through user personas, the objectives of the website can be fuldilled. Conversions can be achieved and more revenues can be expected.