A user persona is a representation of your target user. At the most basic level, personas allow you to personalize or target your marketing for different segments of your audience. Personas provide you with insight into how to make offerings and marketing messaging relevant and successful as a result. Personas allow you to map out and create highly-targeted content, that’s why it’s highly recommended to define personas while building a communication strategy for your product.
The main purpose of a user persona is to create empathy for customers. Understanding and relating to what matters to your customers is an essential part of product management. This requires ongoing research about target user segments so you can build an informed roadmap.
Personas are an effective way to capture and share this research. You can distill the most important attributes of people who use your product — such as their goals, challenges, likes, and dislikes. This information shapes your product strategy and keeps the entire product team stays focused on creating an outstanding customer experience.
Here are the key benefits of defining user personas:
- Explain the “why” behind product decisions
- Focus on the needs of the most important user groups
- Prioritize features that solve actual user problems
- Implement new functionality in line with how customers will actually use it
How to create user personas for digital products?
This guide describes the steps to create user personas :
1. Understand Who Will Use Your Products
Persona must be as truthful as possible, so it is important to spend time learning as much as possible about your target users. What is their role? How long have they been in their industry? What are their likes and dislikes? This information helps you envision a typical user and view your product from their perspective.
The specific details you need to capture will vary based on your industry, market, and type of product. Here are the different types of information that can be useful to gather:
- Personal Background: Age, education, and location
- Professional background: Job title, income level, skills, responsibilities, and experience
- Psychographic information: Goals, challenges, likes, and dislikes
You can use qualitative and quantitative data to inform your research; such as directly interviewing users, reading support tickets, talking to terms who interact with users, and analyzing product usage.
2. Group your typical users
You will most likely need to create multiple personas to represent different groups of users. Once you have gathered sufficient data, look for distinct characteristics and behavior patterns. Each group of user personas has a unique set of goals, needs, and wants. Understanding the differences between these groups is essential to guiding how new product features are prioritized, designed, and developed.
3. Build out a user persona template
Now you are ready to build out your personas. Give each one a name and select an image to represent and make your persona memorable. Then, write up an overview that distills the essential elements of their background and preferences.
4. Share user personas with the team
Once created, share your personas with key members of your organization. Whatever format you choose, it is important to make your personas easily accessible to the entire team. Associating personas with your goals, initiatives, releases, and features will keep your customers top of mind and present in everything you do.
Well-crafted personas are a great way to communicate research about your target customers. These are useful reminders of the ultimate purpose of your product, to serve the needs of real people. When you know exactly who your user is and what they want to achieve with your product, you can deliver solutions that truly delight them.