Creating Personas

One of the most important things that product managers can do when starting a project is create user personas.  The best definition I found for these is: short descriptions or biographies of fictitious, archetypical customers (Pragmatic Marketing). 




There are a few different ways to create these personas, and I found that these resources were the most helpful:
The image above gives a really good overview of what to include in your personas. I found it really helpful to give my personas a name, and find a picture of someone who it could be.  This made it really personal for me, and connected me to them rather than just some random fictionalization.  Next, identify their main characteristics - heavy technology user, old, young, internet savvy, where they work.  You can include demographics (where they live, work) and what their lifestyle.  This helps to paint the picture of the user.  Finally, you'll need to answer the question of why.  Why would the user want to buy/use the product that you're working on?

Overall, personas are extremely important to help drive your product vision and direction.  You have to make sure that you're designing products that your users will use and love!  What have you done to create personas?  Where do you keep your personas once you've created them?  Do you incorporate your personas into your requirements?



2 comments:

  1. I have used a very similar template. I think the key is to keep it simple, keep it meaningful, and to refresh it as needed.

    One company I worked at had multipage, multicolumn, 8pt font user personas (about 2 dozen of them) and it was a true drudge to figure out what one was applicable to a use case.

    I do incorporate them into my requirements, but universally, I have found the developers don't give a darn about them.

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  2. Keeping it simple is the most important thing - especially because there are so many other things to do.
    Developers are hard to please, and get engaged. I try to remind mine of the target audience when they suggest additional features...

    Thanks for the comment!

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