What is a User Persona?
A “User Persona” is a hypothetical user that is based on data collected from a business’ target audience. Like a real user, user personas are given a name, a picture, a background, a skillset, an age, an educational level, a geographical location from which they are based, a platform with which they connect to the internet with, and any other slew of assigned characteristics that a real user might possess.
Effective personas go beyond just the data collected and characteristics assigned, and address why users act the way they do and what they expect from the businesses they are interacting with. Understanding these motivations allow businesses to create solutions, products and advertisements that cater to their customers on a more personal level.
When these elements are combined with a set of objectives that each persona is trying to complete, they can create a fairly accurate representative of what actions a larger audience will take – allowing businesses to make educated guesses about how their audience will act when presented with any number of tasks on a website – such as the ease of site navigation or purchase of a product.
What is the Benefit?
By taking the time to create a well thought out user persona, businesses can make sure that the majority of their target audience will have positive interactions with their brand online. Creating an online business presence that leads to users having a positive interaction will help convince them to come back to do more business in the future. As a result, a good user persona can directly translate into increased revenues for a business.
Once created, personas can be shared and used internally across an entire business in many different departments. If a persona has been created specifically for a single department, chances are other departments will also benefit from the use of the persona as well. For example, a product manager can make use of persona information to create products that better meet the needs of users, while marketing can use them to create effective advertising messaging that captures the attention of users.
While it is hard to make all users happy, taking the time to create a data-backed user persona for a business will make sure that the majority of an audience finds a business simple and compelling to interact with.