So, what is a Persona?
I came across this description about Persons which I find very useful written by the guys at adaptivepath.com. Personas are fictitious people who represent the archetypal qualities of your audience. They provide targets for design and are generally very effective for communicating design and research activities throughout an organization.
- Drawn from field research
- Named as individuals
- Developed for specific contexts
- Typical and believable
Personas are not:
- Based on demographics or market segments
- Drawn from gut feelings about your audience
- User profiles or stereotypes e.g. “Soccer mom”
- A magic bullet
How do you create personas?
- Persona are best created from contextual or Individual Interviews often refer to as ethnographic research. You only need to interview around 16 individuals of your target segment to formulate ”archetypes’ (ie model of a person, ideal example).
- The results of your interview are analysis via affinity diagram to identify and group common patterns and characteristics or attributes. Once the attributes are discovered, you start to apply more of demographic information to your persona and personality.
What are some of the important elements to a personas?
- Personas are more then just demographic information, a persona needs to capture behavior, belief and philosophy of person. More importantly their motivation or intentions.
- For example a persona might decide to ‘Join a gym’, the intention is not getting fit (although a good side effect), the primary intention is to ‘put themselves in a place there are might met interesting people. Another is ‘Hungry Person’, their might decide to go a grab fast food, but there intention is to save time to spend with partner.
- Therefore a persona’s intentions are just as important as the task at hand