Customer personas are extremely useful tools for thinking about your target customers. Personas help provide context and direction about who your most important customers are and how they interact with your brand.
In brief, a persona is a fictional customer based on real user research. Having a clear persona is helpful in reminding you to direct every aspect of your customer journey map towards them.
A strong customer persona should include
- Key characteristics like name, age, and demographic
- Frequent tasks or activities
- Pain points
- Wants & Needs
- Any form of device, browser, or technology considerations
How many personas should?
I personally aim to generate around three personas for every project. Sure, you’ll have more types of users than 3, but this helps you rigorously focus on your most important ones.
How should I create these?
A google spreadsheet or document is the quickest way to capture and store user personas. You could get fancier with your layouts, but to start the process, this is the best way. Here’s my template to get you started.
So what next?
Now that you have your personas print them out. Taking one person at a time and navigate your entire website or app. At each point ask yourself “where would this person get confused?”, “how would they accomplish their goals?”, “what could be improved for them?’. Jot down notes on the printed persona as you go. After doing this for all three, compare notes to see where there are patterns of good and bad customer experience.
If you want to take it a step further, do the same thing for 2-3 of your main competitor websites. This will give you a deeper understanding and reveal more insights than you ever have had before.
Ok, so that wraps up user personas and I hope this helps you take your website or app to the next level.