User Persona: Concept, Types and Benefits User persona

User Persona: Concept, Types and Benefits

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What is a user persona?

User persona refers to a fictional or imaginary character that you build after doing proper research on your customer base. Making a user persona for your product will take you closer to the different types of customers you are bound to have for your product or service. 

The thought is to conduct surveys, interviews and various researches on your customers to get a better understanding of their behaviour, preferences, needs and expectations. 

For example, a user persona would look something like this,

User Persona: Concept, Types and Benefits User persona

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Why user persona?

  • Frames a realistic and trustworthy picture of your customers for you.
  • To strategically develop a product or service that best suits the customer requirements. 
  • This allows a demographic and psychographic segmentation giving you scope for planning your marketing strategy. 
  • It defines various needs and expectations of different people and helps you build an efficient product.
  • User personas add a human touch to your research facts.
  • It also makes you identify the patterns in your research and the type of people you will design your product or service for. 
  • It will also shed light on some important questions that the customers can have. 
  • Helps you eliminate the unnecessary products and rather focus on what the users actually need.

What are the 4 types of user persona?

User Persona: Concept, Types and Benefits User persona

User persona gives that human touch to your development process, which otherwise would be running on unreal facts or variables. Here are 4 types of user personas based on perspective:

  • Goal-based user persona

This persona comes under user experience. The objective is to answer the question “What does the user want from my product?”. It aims to figure out the workflow and process that your user will prefer in order to interact with your product. 

Hence, a goal-based user persona is all about determining what approach your user takes to use your product to solve their problems. 

  • Role-based user personas

This type of user persona focuses the most on the role does the user plays in the organization. It is majorly based on behaviour and is data-driven. This data can be collected from both qualitative as well as quantitative sources. 

The design you make needs to reflect on the role that the users play in your organization and product development. It can define how the role and environment of the user can affect the demands of the product. 

  • Engaged people

Engaged people gives a wide perspective to the designers. The person is designed with a range of characteristics like emotions, psychology, environment and background. 

A 3D rendering of the persona is done to make it more interactive. It has proven to be helpful as it feels ‘real’ to consider them as a part of the development process. 

Adding the characteristics and a story to the persona makes it more relatable and genuine.  

  • Fictional personas

Unlike the other three personas, fictional personas do not come from research, rather it comes from the experience of the UX team. They make assumptions based on their experience with the user interactions and this can be flawed too. 

Although, they can be considered as a good starting point in the design phase you should not trust them as a reliable source. 

Exploratory Research Guide

Conducting exploratory research seems tricky but an effective guide can help.

Creating a user persona

After knowing whats and whatnots of a user persona, let’s look at how you can make one for your product:

Step 1: User research

As the name suggests, it involves researching the market for your potential customers. We suggest you never miss this step, even though it sounds easy, it is really important for you to identify how your audience is and make your team adapt to it. This will help them build a product that is best suited for the market. 

As there are various methods to collect data related to demographics and behaviours, online surveys are widely used today and have proven to be the best to provide real-time data. 

Step 2: Analyze the data

Now that you have the data from your potential users, it is time to analyze it. 

Try to make sense of the data regarding what kind of customers are out there in the market that can be interested in interacting with your product. The data analysis will show you the pattern of demographics or behaviours in the users. And based on that you can develop your product which will be in their best interest. 

Step 3: Draft profiles

You can use the information from the data to create draft user persona profiles.

The draft of a user generally has these things defined:

  • Profile: It involves the basic information on the person like their name, age, gender, occupation, etc.
  • Personality: It has information on the user’s behaviour
  • Referents: It tells which people, products and brands influence the user’s purchase decision.
  • Phrases: A phrase a user would use to refer to a product or service.
  • Technology experience: It tells how familiar the user is with the use of technology and tools used in product making.
  • Objective: What problem does the user wish to solve by using your product.
  • Devices and platforms: Identify which devices users constantly interact with.
  • Applications: It states the traits and interactions that the user has with the virtual world.
  • Expectations and frustrations: It allows to design according to specific scenarios depending on the personality, objective and experience of the user.
  • Relationship with the product or brand: It helps to understand the relationship that the user has with your company and the value they obtain from it.

 

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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