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Blog > Web design > Closer Look At What Website Personas Are And The Benefits of Using It

Closer Look At What Website Personas Are And The Benefits of Using It


What are personas?

The persona, referring to website personas here, is a description of the real characteristics ofthe target groups who are on the website, and is a comprehensive archetype of real users. We make researches on goals, behaviors, opinions of the product users. These elements are synthesized into a set of descriptions of typical product users to assist in the decision-making and design of the product.

Here is a website persona example:

web persona

Personas generally contain some personal basic information, the environment of family, work and life, the specific situation while using the products, the description of use goals and behaviors, etc. A product usually designs 3 to 6 personas on behalf of the whole user group.

What are not personas?

Personas are not user segmentation

The persona looks like the user market segmentation that we are familiar with. User segmentation is a commonly used method in market research, usually based on demographic characteristics (such as gender, age, occupation, income) and consumer psychology to analyze the purchasing behavior of consumers. It is different from the correspondence between consumer and commodity , what we are more concerned is how the user treat, use, and interact with the product, which is a relatively continuous processes. The population attribute is not a major factor to influence a user's behavior. However, the persona which is focusing on the user's goals, behaviors and perspectives can better understand the user needs and the differences existing amongst different user groups.

Personas are not average users

Can a persona represent a majority of users? First of all, the precondition for the user percentage is not the same in the decision-related problems for each product. Does it mean the user who has 20+ friends or the user who never click on the ads? It needs different data support for specific issues. The persona is neither average user nor user average. What we are concerned about is the typical user or user typicalness. The purpose of creating a persona is not to get a set of qualitative data that can accurately represent the percentage of users, but to help us identify and focus on the potential users by following and researching the user's goals and behavior patterns.

Personas are not real users

The persona does not actually exist. We can hardly describe how the users are and what they might like, because the preferences are very susceptible to various factors, and even different descriptions of the problem will lead to different answers. If we ask the user, "do you like the faster horse"? Of course, the answer is yes, although to give him a car is a better solution. So, what we need to pay attention to is what users need and want to do. It can help us analyze requirements and design products by describing their goals and behavioral characteristics.

The premise of creating website personas

A very important prerequisite for a persona which can be created, accepted by the design team and customers, and finally put into use is that we agree with the user-centric design concept. Can the persona really work after being created? It depends on whether the entire business sector, design team, and company have formed a UCD ideas and process, and whether they are willing to put the personas into all aspects of product design consciously or unconsciously. Otherwise, the persona is always a display, a pile of dusty documents, paintings or decorations.

Therefore, before creating website personas, we need to be aware of several questions: Who will use these personas? How are their attitudes? How will it be used? What type of decisions to make? How much time and money can be invested? Identifying these issues is critical to create and use the personas.

Why do we create personas, including:


The purpose of creating a persona is to minimize subjective guessing and understand what the user really needs and then to know how to better serve different types of users.

The benefits of using persona

1. Bring the focus

The first credo of the persona is that it is impossible to create a website for everyone. Successful business models are usually targeted at specific groups. No matter how strong a team is, the resources are limited after all. We should make sure that good steel needs to used for the blade's edge.

2. Striking a chord

Sympathetic visage is the secret of product design.

3. Unifying the ideas

It can help the team establish appropriate expectations and goals so as to create an accurate share version. Persona will contribute to teamwork.

4. Speed up the efficiency

There is nothing more waste of resources and demoralising than a product without needs.

5. Bring better decisions

Unlike traditional market segmentation, the persona focus on the user's goals, behaviors and opinions.

You might ask when we can use personas? I think we can use:

•When developing a product strategy...

• When discussing product requirements...

• When prioritizing projects...

• When performing task analysis...

• When thinking about interactive processes...

• When selecting a design style...

• When using a research project to recruit users...

• When confirming promotion goals...

• When improving the operational plan...

In short, the personas can be useful in a variety of discussions, brainstormings, PKs and when we want to blurt users out.

Seven-step persona methods of Allen Cooper

Seven-step persona methods of Allen Cooper

Ten-step persona methods of Lene Nielsen

Ten-step persona methods of Lene Nielsen

How to use the personas?

Personas can clearly reveal the user goals, help us grasp the key requirements, tasks, processes, and let us know what we must do and shouldn't do to the product. The personas are not a precise measure, and more importantly, it serves as a visual communication tool for decision-making, design, and communication.

user goals

Full and realistic personas are more useful than the right ones. That so-called 100% right personas are line with the actual situation does not exist. We should try our best to make our potential users real so as to make full use of the personas in the desicion-making process of design.

How to keep the website personas alive? This is a problem that can't be ignored, especially when the team create and use personas for the first time. A persona is not created for a particular project or requirement. The mission of the persona is to put the image of the core user into each member's development and design thinking process. We need to constantly refine, display, explain, and use it:

•Establish a persona document

•Show persona

•Live with the persona

Do you want to know more informations about website personas? If you are interested in it, you can search some free persona templates on the internet and create it.

Author: 00

Translator: Thomas

Original website: NetEase

Original link:

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