Yes! Personas as the outcome of research will blow your mind! No really, personas bring together all the outcomes of user research – interviews, focus groups, surveys, social media studies and field studies. They make the lists of proposed content and features for a website come alive for everyone involved in the project – designers, developers and business people alike.
What do we mean by a persona?
A persona is a description of a fictional person who represents a major user group. A typical persona includes:
- Name and picture
- Demographics (age, education, family status)
- Job title and main responsibilities
- Experience online, in the industry and with the site offeriing
- Social media experience
- Goals and tasks in relation to your site
- A quote that sums up what matters most to the persona with relevance to your site
It helps to base Personas on someone you know, as this keeps them grounded and more realistic. Often the quote comes from real person in an interview or focus group – something that really makes the persona zing!
We have been on projects where the developers begin to talk about the personas as though they know them. “Jane wouldn’t use that function. She’s an expert user – she needs a short cut.”
Personas are a great research tool. They provide a reference point for design decisions during a project. They are a powerful way to communicate knowledge, activities, interests, influences, and goals. Here’s a useful quick personas description from Wiliam Web Design, Sydney. Even Ford Motor Company uses them!
Feel free to check out our other Usability FAQs on the Objective Digital website.