Personas are fictional archetypes of the target users of a product or design, created as composites of user research or market research. Businesses create personas in order to build empathy for users and foster a shared understanding of the types of people who use a product.
Benefits of Personas
Tools like personas, user journey maps, and storyboards are used by researchers to advocate for the user, tell stories, and circulate key points from user research across an organization. Using a range of multiple personas offers an opportunity to share research on both “typical” users of a product and fringe or outlier users in a concise, memorable way.
Personas may include details on product usage as well as other details to humanize the user and paint a more complete picture, and can be adapted depending on what feels relevant to a particular product or research initiative.
Persona details might include:
- Illustration or photograph
- Occupation and/or education
- Experience level with products in your field
- Location where they use your product
- Number or type of products owned
- Illustrative quotes (can be adapted from user interviews)
- Typical schedule
- Long-term goals or motivations
- Frustrations or pain points
- Favorite brands, media, or tools
High-Fidelity and Low-Fidelity Personas
Similar to high-fidelity and low-fidelity prototypes, researchers might create high-fidelity or low-fidelity personas, where fidelity can signal the rigor of the research behind the persona. For example, a persona with a simple sketch instead of a photograph signals lower fidelity, while a persona with a photograph and richer text detail signals higher fidelity.
- Codecademy: Creating User Personas
- Interaction Design Foundation: Personas – A Simple Introduction
- Interaction Design Foundation: Creating Personas from User Research Results
- Adobe XD: Putting Personas to Work in UX Design: What They Are and Why They’re Important
- UX Collective: Creating research-backed personas