Personas are developed from data collected about targeted users. The patterns that emerge from your research create the user archetype- the persona.


Creating personas serves several purposes. Personas help remove the tendency of the team to make assumptions about the user or see themselves as the user. Personas also provide team members an accurate short cut to reference a group of users. Personas are also a great tool for sharing user information with people not present for user interviews and observations, and new team members learning about the products target audience.


How can you create a persona? I would start by looking at the demographic data you have collected on your users. Group the users by like characteristics such as the part of the organization, their role, their place in the process, the numbers of transactions, the amount of work or any other quantitative measures that may separate or group them. Create a bulleted list of the goals and needs of these users. The goals and needs should focus on the work being done, not on your product and service. The idea of the persona is to give you a better sense of who you are working with, not how they use your product. The goals describe what the persona is try to achieve while doing their job. The needs describe the information, tools, people or other things that are required to complete their work. Lastly, create a bulleted list on why your organization cares about this persona. Are they the targeted users? Are they the buyers?  Are they the influencers? Do they represent future income?

At this point, some people like to get more creative and add personal narratives, pictures and personal names to the personas, rather than constantly referring to “the IT Guy.” I am a fan of the picture and name so that the team has a common short cut to reference the persona. Have fun with it and good luck!


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