If you want to learn about user personas, here’s the good place for it!

On this blog post, you will learn some tips how to:

  • Do perfect customer’s interviews
  • Create user personas based on these interviews
  • Put these user personas in a Persona’s Maps

What is a user persona?

A user persona consists of creating a character to represent your epitome user. Personas can be based on user interviews or be simple fictional characters. I strongly recommend you to use the first option. Indeed, the quality of your work will be improved if you choose to realize customer interviews beforehand.

There are a lot of different user personas examples, here are two of them:

User personas example

 

 

User personas example

 

Why do you need to use user personas?

Users personas method can be used for all kind of products that you want to understand better. It is particularly effective when you want to launch a new product. Indeed, personas are one of the best ways to validate your idea and start your business. This is evidenced by the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) approach that includes customer’s interviews and user personas.

More concrete user personas help to:

  • Understand and share various audience groups with team members.
  • Validate solutions by seeing how well needs a match with product features.
  • Prioritized these features in order to build an MVP.
  • Adjust some design elements

 

How to create a persona?

Step 1: Interviews

Personas based on customers interviews provide much more accurate data than the imaginaries ones, that’s why it is important to realize good interviews.

The main problem you can occur during an interview is to collect wrong information that will lead you in the wrong direction. Indeed it often happens that interviewees lie to you without even realize it, they just try to be nice. However, in reality, they give you non-relevant information.

Here are few tips to realize good interviews:

The mom test book cover

  • Take notes about what the interviewee says, but also about these emotions to detect an eventual lying.
  • Ask important questions (Imagine your company failed. Why did it fail? / Imagine your company is a huge success. Why?)
  • Have a casual conversation: you and the interviewee need to feel comfortable, so be casual is one of the good ways to get good data.
  • Listen more, talk less.
  • Be specific, make them speak about their life (How do you solve X now? / Why do you bother)
  • Get commitment from interviewees

If you want to know more about interviews I strongly recommend you to read the Rob Fitzpatrick’s book, “The Mom Test”. Everything you need to know is written in that book.

 

Step 2: “Draw” your personas based on your interview notes

Here’s a simple template of user persona, you can find many others templates more complete than this one, obviously, feel free to use the one you want.

User personas simple template

  • Create the header

user personas profile exampleThe header must include a fictional name, an image, and few quotes to give some characteristics related to your product.

Faces people user personas

  • Create the demographic profile

    user personas demographics example

During the interviews, you should collect the factual information wisely in order to write a demographic profile. We can divide demographic profile into four main sections:

  1. The personal background: This section needs to includes details as age, gender, education, and family status.
  2. The professional background: In the professional background you need to write about the customer’s job occupation, the income, and the work experience.
  3. The user environment: You need to fill that part with a physical, social, and technological context of the user.
  4. Psychographics: You can also add details such as attitudes, interests, motivations, and pain. Here the goal is to make the user persona more realistic.
  • Create behaviors

    user personas behaviors example

Behaviors are persona’s characteristics, you must think for each of them where is the link to the product, if you can see a link, you can add it. You can also write one non-relevant behavior to make the persona more real.

  • Create Needs and Goals

user personas needs and goals example

In the section Needs and Goals, you must mention customer’s desires. Here again, you can write one non-relevant information to improve the realism of your persona.

user personas people cartoonuser personas people cartoon

User personas target map primary secondary tertiary

Step 3 (Bonus): Use the Persona Maps to prioritize your personas and your solutions

The persona Maps involve 5 user personas you will need to choose carefully. You need to divide them as follows:

  • Primary persona: You must choose 1 primary persona. That will be the main one, the product will basically be based on this user.
  • Secondary personas: You need to pick 2 secondary personas, they need to share some ideas as the primary one and be close to your product.
  • Tertiary personas: Here you will put 3 tertiary personas, they need to share some ideas with the primary persona and with product, but of course, less than the secondary ones

Why we do this?

You cannot build a product for all the personas you have, that’s why you need to choose which personas will be the main one. Furthermore, you need to know that you will need to create the product based one that primary persona.

Be careful! The product will be based on the primary persona but it needs to fit for all the personas you picked for the Persona Maps.

 

My recommendations

Firstly, try to be concise and precise, a user persona must fill in one page and you must provide the best relevant information you got from the interviews in that little space.

Secondly, choose carefully your user personas template to find the one you feel more comfortable with, the best one is the one you will choose.

And finally, use the personas map! It is the best metric to help you understand more your customers by well-understanding their personalities in order to prioritize them.

 

Conclusion

User personas are used in MVP Workshop in the 2 weeks sprint to validate an idea. It one of the best solutions we can provide you to understand well the customers’ need with a limited time resource.

All firms, including the experimented ones, should follow that 3 steps to understand more their customer’s needs and to provide them the best solutions they can imagine. Solutions come from problems, and problems are known thanks to interviews.

How to create the perfect User Personas in 3 Steps?

Loris Penelon

SKEMA Business School Student. Passionate about entrepreneurship and travels. Former intern @MVP Workshop.

Category: Define
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