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How To Create UX Personas? 6 May 2014 | Ewa Puchalska

UX personas are important for you to know who your user is. Thanks to user research and analysis of basic customer experience metrics you can pin-point who your ideal user is and, based on this knowledge, create a real user with real problems and real needs that would be willing to use your service or buy your product.

Related article: 9 Articles on User Personas Ever Written

Why do I need UX Personas?

  • You will know who you are creating the product for – a real person who will use your product.
  • You will better understand the basic problems are and the basic needs of your audience.
  • You will be able to better focus your team’s efforts on creating a usable product.
  • You won’t get stuck on discussing unusable features.
  • The team will have a better understanding of user’s motives and ways of interacting with the product.

How to create UX personas?

Let’s get something straight right now: you probably need more than one UX Persona. It’s not enough to say “my product is for Brand Managers”. You need to be more specific than that and this means that during the persona development you will discover that a brand manager from a Fortune 500 company will have different needs than those of a brand manager of a startup. You need to take this into consideration and don’t make your product too niche.

An ideal number would be up to four UX personas – this gives you options to explore and address different users’ needs in order to create a product for the widest possible audience without targeting it as “for everyone” at the same time.

Know the users: who are they? Why would they want to use your product? What do they want to achieve by using it? How can they find out about your product?

Identify common factors: look for specific and repeatable metrics to discover common factors and then separate all possible groups.

Narrow your search: Filter the groups. You don’t need too many UX personas. The research process will only distract you from your goal.

Make it specific: Select a suitable person to represent your group and give this person a name. Choose an appropriate image of a person to represent a named group. Describe their character, their likes, dislikes (even the name of their dog). Make this UX Persona seem like a real person.

What questions do I need to answer to create a specific UX Persona?

While creating UX Personas you should always ask questions. How else you’ll find out who is the perfect user? Remember to split your questions into few groups that will help you to organize your ideal user’s data.

Personal

  • What’s your name?
  • How old are you?
  • What is your occupation?
  • What is your education?
  • What do you do in your free time?
  • Add a picture.

Needs and goals (professional)

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Why do you want to achieve it
  • What do you need to achieve it?

Technical background and workplace

  • Where do you usually work and for how long?
  • How many hours do you spend in front of a computer?
  • What are your favorite web resources and websites?
  • What devices other than a computer do you use?

Personal quote

  • Something that can be instantly identified as your catch phrase or a phrase you use most often.

Examples of UX Personas

Below you’ll find samples of UX Personas. Let’s stay with the Brand Manager example:

UX personas 1

UX Persona Example

Ux personas 2

UX Persona Example

What tools should I use to create UX Personas?

Pen and paper – that’s always a good start if you’re doing it old-school. You may need a bit of color so add some pictures or graphics – some old newspapers may be useful here. There is no limit when it comes to the old-school approach.

Ask yourself, what personas come to you mind right know? Maybe you yourself are a fit?

P.S.

Our friends from UXpressia created neat UX Personas Tool, you should give it a try!


Ewa Puchalska

Written by Ewa Puchalska

Ewa is an experienced editor and web communication expert. Working amongst various teams, with people of different characters, have made her eager to improve communication whenever needed. Her field of interest is online marketing mixed with user experience and how to use both for the best results in web communication.


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