Reflect the interests and preferences of real individuals
Cultivate realistic personas
The central idea behind the creation of well-defined user personas is to reflect the interests and preferences of real individuals that collectively comprise general group types. While to some extent these profiles should be crafted using quantitative data, profile traits are just as qualitative. The more research we commit to and the more we can discover what factors motivate different types of users, the more accurately we can cultivate realistic and effective personas. When budgets and timelines are involved, having well-researched user personas can prevent poor decisions from being made down the road. Instead, you’re more likely able to produce the products and services that better reflect your customers’ interests.
Investing in online experiences is no small feat. The brand is on the line, along with the investment itself. Undergoing the development of user personas is the focused, economical approach to designing online experiences. Firstly, because we’ve laid out expectations of users and can use them as foundations for making decisions on what content, features, and design traits will occupy the digital asset. Without user personas, the information architecture of your website or app is stalled since no wireframe or interface features can be developed — who would we develop them for? Content develop can not proceed without understanding what material is most appropriate for the audience. All these essential parts rely on the presence of well-defined user personas. Otherwise you produce an end-product that has no identity, or worse, is at odds with your targeted audience.
The Comprehensive Approach
Research. Lots and lots of research. After generating a surplus of information, we can clarify differences and set boundaries between the differing types of users. Too many user personas and the experience can be daunting from information overload and potentially confuse users. Refining the user types and prioritizing the most relevant users can produce better results for you and a better experience for them. The most important information that we should base our decisions around are the demographic qualities of the user, the geography of their online activity, and their academic and professional overviews. This level of detail introduces confidence into the process — now we know who we should develop these products and services for.
The Experience is a Scenario
Every user begins and ends their online journey at different points; each scenario is unique. But there are universal principles that guide the process of designing and developing for online experiences. A harmonious implementation of design, content, and their sub-disciplines have to be delivered in a way that demonstrates attention to user personas. From our research, we can use our persona types to determine what users should experience, where, when, and how. That sequential progression in one word is delivery. Without user personas, we would not be able to orient features and information to signal to users “this is for you.”
In the context of a project, developing user personas takes such a small amount of time, energy, and investment, but the payoff is a reward multiplied. Stakeholders receive a product that satisfies their goals of producing a product or service optimized to better serve customers, and is in the best position to return their financial investment and more. The purpose of defining user personas is to acknowledge all your customers and deliver to them. It’s so simple yet so effective that it should always be done, regardless of the scale of the end product.