User persona creation
Our user personas process
We work with your teams to understand your audiences and define your target user base.
To do this, we first conduct an audience definition workshop with your teams to align on existing research, experiences and assumptions. This also helps to support identifying which audience types are of the highest priority – creating too many personas is a common pitfall which dilutes usage and opportunity to use personas to support effective decision making.
We then build on this initial insight by conducting first-hand research with existing or prospective users. This can take the form of interviews, observations, surveys or a combination of methods. We conduct an analysis on the findings before delivering a report which includes key insights from each persona type. As a result, we create visualised personas that are based on real user insights, which can guide strategic decision making.
You can decide your level of involvement during the project. We advise that key members of your team are invited to input and review – their first-hand experience of your users can be invaluable.
We can also work to embed personas into your organisation, through presentations, marketing materials or even role play.
Gain real understanding of your key audiences to support informed decision making
Create a common vocabulary and empower teams with user insights
Create focus behind digital design
Why are personas important?
Personas play an important role in guiding user-centred design. When done well, they can act as an additional team member, supporting team discussion and decision making. They help us answer questions quickly and avoid adding ‘just in case’ functionality.
What are personas based on?
In this instance, personas will be based on input from customer-facing teams and user research to ensure they are grounded in real insight. Personas which are not based on first-hand research with users or customers are instead proto-personas.
How many personas will I receive?
We spend time defining your audiences and understanding those that are key to your business objectives. We then use this information to conduct research and validate this with user groups. We typically recommend creating three personas. This enables effective decision making and avoids diluting usage with too many conflicting needs and pain points.
When should I create personas?
It’s never too late to learn more about your audiences to guide product development and targeting. Personas should be treated as a living document that is a part of your team's day-to-day toolkit. As a result, it is important to regularly review and refresh your personas over time.
However, there are some typical scenarios where the need for personas is often identified. For user personas, this includes the times prior to product development, redesigns or product updates. Alternatively, for marketing personas, this may be when defining or refreshing your marketing strategy or for a specific tailored campaign.
What makes a good persona?
A good persona has a believable profile which enables the reader to tell an accurate story based on the insights it provides. It should be directed by reliable findings and regularly reviewed for necessary updates as your user base and their needs organically change over time. A poorly researched persona can undermine a project and product direction.