A fictive person that represents the average characteristics of the users.
A Persona is a model in the sphere of the human-machine-interaction. It represents a group of users having specific attributes, needs and user behaviour.
When planning to create Personas, there’s some work which has to be done before. Before a Persona can be created, a general understanding of the users or target group needs to exist. This can be done by collecting data in a survey for example. First it is sensible to identify who the future users will be, if they are young adults, elderly people etc. and then prepare a user survey. It is important to have a minimum of five people in a survey per persona. Ten are even better. Afterwards it is time for analysing all the results and data as quick as possible, so no details are forgotten. Each interviewed person should answer the following questions:
-- What are the persons goals and needs?
-- What are his/her abilities?
-- Where does he/she live and work?
-- What is his/her motivation?
--What are his/her main behaviours?
After this step, it is sensible to make a list of the most important attributes and behaviours identified when analysing the data. Now everything is ready to create the Persona. For each Persona it is important to decide what attributes and behaviours he/she should present. Each Persona should contain the following information:
-- personal group
-- job and responsibility
-- demographic information
-- goals and tasks
-- a quote summarizing the most important characteristics
-- a list of the most important behaviours
Personas in general will make it easier to have a clear picture in mind when thinking about a specific user and will make decisions within the progress faster as everyone is talking about the same target group.
What are the advantages of a persona?
Before centering the progress of a project around the user, the team first needs to understand who the users are - and that is what Persona are there for. Each Persona represents a smaller group within the target group and has specific needs, attributes and - more important - user behaviour. Considering the Persona will help the team to make better decisions when working on a (new) project.
When is it sensible to create a Persona?
Creating personas should happen at the beginning of a new project as they help that everyone working on the project has the same understanding of the target group. They should be considered in every phase of the project and the team needs to refer to them whenever possible so decisions are not made based on personal preference.