Creating a user persona is a bit daunting task and demands a lot of work, mostly running surveys and taking interviews. Preparing a smart questionnaire before going to take interviews makes sense and helps you speed up the process. Once everything is finished, validate the user persona, correct mistakes, and fill the gaps you have left.
Ada, an entrepreneur and startup owner running a web design company, has invited Kelly to her office. Kelly is a renowned marketer and consultant. Kelly was pleased with Ada's invitation and decided to help her because she already knew the purpose of her invitation.
Ada was looking for guidance in regard to creating a user persona perfectly and with its true soul. At the start of their formal> talk, Kelly mentioned, "You will create websites not to please your clients but to please their end-users, and user persona creation is the first step to knowing the end-users."
"Indeed, you are right," Ada responded with a smile and admitted that most web design and development agencies are making the same mistake and negatively remain client-centric. Going further, Kelly explained what a user persona is.
What Is User Persona?
A user persona is a fictional character representation of your best and most valued end-users. It shares all distinct characteristics of your valued end-users, including geography, demography, psycho-graphics, needs, pain points, and capabilities.
Who Should You Create a User Persona for?
Definitely, they are your users for whom you are creating a user persona. However, you cannot include everyone or every group of people in your user persona. You must have selected people or groups of people. Therefore, Kelly suggested Ada include only high-value users of the websites.
Kelly also explained who will be the high-value users: "They must be the most profitable, loyal, and with the lowest attrition rate."
She added, "Your users may have different roles, such as decision-makers, influencers, prospective employees, or competitors." With these insights, Kelly described how to collect accurate user information to create a perfect user persona.
Way To Collect the User Information To Prepare User Persona
Conducting Online Research
- Online Intelligence
- User surveys
- Focused groups
- Third-party interviews
If you have collected basic information, such as gender, age, income, etc., prior to conducting online interviews, you will remain precise and quick during interviews.
#A - Research Online Demographic Info
Social media, particularly LinkedIn, can help you easily and accurately gather your users' demographic information. For example, you can collect info including age range, gender, employment status, job title, job position, education level, user location, and work responsibilities.
#B - Guerrilla Survey
For a quick and instant survey, you can select members of your staff, passerby, or people available at public places like malls, parks, or gardens. Fix a small sample size for each place and take their interviews; you will gain a good insight into your website's end users, know their preferences, pain points, goals, and how they face their challenges. Then, in due course, you can prepare a questionnaire to ask or hand it over to them to give written answers.
#C - Interview Your Prospective End-users
It is a core and vital part of taking interviews of prospective end-users of your website. They should be among the real users so you can know as much as possible about them.
After giving the background, Kelly described how to go about creating a user persona in a legitimate way.
How To Create User Persona?
Kelly prescribed the following steps to create a user persona systematically.
1 - Obtain User Persona Templates
Using templates is a shortcut to creating user persona templates. It eases your work a lot and saves your time & efforts is a bonus. With templates, you will have a questionnaire to obtain the required information through market research or interviews, including useful examples. There are many different types of templates available in the market, and you need to select the best one for your requirements and audience.
2 - Extrapolate Info from Interview Findings
Now, you are going to take interviews with your prospective target audience. It would be best if you created a questionnaire to ask them. You must ask the same question to at least three to four respondents.
Once you have done that task, you should extrapolate the information you have received from the respondent in a sheet designed to define commonalities within each answer.
However, you must follow some Do’s & Don’ts in due course.
Do’s To Extrapolate Information Find Out from Interviews.
- You must include all trends/patterns that aid in understanding each step of the user journey—for instance, the user's pain points, research, and decision-making.
- You should have the name and photo of each respondent.
- Take a close observation of the responses and find meaningful patterns and commonalities.
- It would be best if you created a separate persona for each user role or user group. It is because each user group has different roles and participates differently in decision-making.
- Create a persona for other influencers and decision-makers.
- You must beware of outliers. Otherwise, they will become the cause of inaccuracy.
- Mention references to other personas, such as influencers and decision-makers, with their names and roles.
- Try to avoid ambiguity in language.
Don’ts To Extrapolate Information Find Out from Interviews.
- Don't misinterpret any information, and be factual.
- Save from the inclusion of any contradictory information and go only for relevant info.
- Never use info provided by any one person in the creation of a user persona; instead, try to bring commonalities to the surface.
- Don't copy-paste responses in the creation of a user persona but try to create concessions among different answers of different respondents.
- Don't focus on unnecessary information and avoid being emotional at all.
3 - Map Findings with Persona Fields
Here is an example of the table you will use to map your findings.
|Job title||Online research|
Age or age range
|Salary or salary range||Online research|
|Traits||Description of character, nature, temperament, etc.||Interviews|
|Goals||What problem do they try to solve?||Interviews|
|Decision process||How do they make buying decisions (Impulsive/spontaneous/careful/meticulous)?||Interviews|
|Reasons for that they seek a software solution.||Interviews|
|Users realize that they need a solution.||Interviews|
|Selection Criteria||Criteria based on them, users make a selection of the solution.||Interviews|
|Research||How customers have found the solution.||Interviews|
|Findings||These are the results of the research.||Interviews|
|Frustrations||When users get frustrated doing research.||Interviews|
|Influencers||Mention who has influenced their buying decision.||Interviews|
|Outcome||What happens as a result of a solution?||Interviews|
4 - Validating User Persona
Now, you have gathered all the information to create a user persona and may have already created them. However, without validating your user persona, you cannot confidently say you have done it. However, it is a vital question who will validate it.
In most cases, other departments in your organization can help you in this regard, such as Sales, customer support, and account departments. These people often interact with your actual customers and add value to your findings.
Of course, there are some questions you can ask people to validate the user persona.
- Did we cover everything in our user persona?
- Is there anything missing?
- Do you find anything wrong?
- Do we miss mentioning any personal type or role?
These questions will help you find mistakes, fill the gaps, and revamp the entire user persona. In fact, you need to create or re-create a user persona each year or after a set interval to keep it relevant to changes that take place in the market.
- It would be best if you evolved your business and marketing strategies to match the ever-changing market. Hence, it would be best if you evolved your user persona.
- An outdated persona will mislead you in everything, including creating strategies.
- Bear in mind that some personas need to depict additional details while some remain superficial.
- With the help of available templates or sheets, you can streamline your user persona creation process and also make it rapid.
- User persona will help you in the creation of a user journey map and understand user behavior.
Who Can Help You In Creation of User Persona for Your Website Development?
Suppose you may have a web design project and go systematically by creating a user persona for it; you must have an experienced team of web designers and developers.
Currently, it is Revival Pixel in the USA, a team of seasoned web designers and developers with prior experience in creating user persona for each project. They can teach you how to systematically create a user persona, or the team will create it on your behalf of you in your project.
Don’t miss the train and catch the team for your next project. You can call directly to their customer support and discuss your requirements to go with the user persona.