How to build a credible persona for effective design solutions / Step-by-step guide to create credible personas for effective design solutions
Building a persona for UX design is the first pivotal step that should be accomplished as soon as comprehensive research findings are available. This persona can then be used in all design and development steps. When used effectively, personas can turbocharge a designer’s work. Let’s take a look at some steps critical to the process of creating a persona.
Step 1: Actual field research and collection of accurate information
Persona is the direct result of the research process. Only after understanding user behaviour, motivation and goals can you build an accurate persona. Employing techniques like field research, user interviews and data observation will allow you to gain the right information and knowledge about your user group. More authentic and detailed the information, more accurate the persona.
Step 2: Analyse and identify behavioural patterns
Tons of research data could be of no help if analysis and interpretation aren’t carried out effectively. Research data needs to be analysed to search for patterns that can then be used to form user groups with similar behaviour. You can start by listing out all behavioural variables in your research. Then, map all individuals to the appropriate set of variables. At this juncture, you will see patterns emerge in the form of individuals clustering across similar variables—use this as the basis of each persona.
Step 3: Describe the personas without distracting
Once you have created personas for your project, it’s time to match them with behavioural descriptions. The important thing here is to describe them in a way that expresses empathy and understanding of the users. Be careful not to make the description distracting with too many personal details. Instead, focus on characterizing the user base with a few important details to make the persona credible.
Step 4: Create scenarios and build use cases
Personas will come alive only when fitted into a scenario where they interact with your product and the different factors associated with it. To do this, you will have to imagine a real-life scenario to get a feel of interactions that can take place in particular contexts. This is where user flows will start to generate, and requirements will emerge. From these requirements, designers conceive solutions.
Step 5: Too many personas can be tricky
Since products come from different segments, it is understandable that you have built multiple personas over the years. Make sure that your personas are categorized into relevant segments as much as possible so you have about three to five personas at the most. Without categorization, you might find yourself with multiple personas in similar interactions. This can impede the process of creating effective design solutions.
Step 6: Testing for usability
At the end of the process, it is essential to look back and verify any assumptions. To ensure that you adjust to changing personas, make the persona creation process iterative. You might also want to check if you have done a proper job of characterizing the personas. The most important question to ask is whether the personas you have created actually answer all the questions. If you’re unable to really connect them to actual product use, then you might have to characterize them from another angle. Once these are done, some usability tests will help you get forward without bumps. Then, you can get on to your next task of creating user journeys.
When done properly, user personas are a great tool to boost ideation and create an intuitive UX perfect for the target users.