User Persona Creation – Creating your ideal customer profile

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A profound understanding of the target audiences and customers is key to the success of any business. It is essential to have deep insights into the customer’s requirements, aspirations, priorities, working environment, and other aspects of life. Your ability to think and behave from your customer’s point of view will establish effective communication. 

It is more comfortable and straightforward for entrepreneurs to build a business based on their own experiences and aware of various pitfalls and loopholes. The product development and designing of marketing content get more comfortable when you are well acquainted with customers’ expectations and reactions to different marketing strategies.

If you have zero experience in the case of the businesses, how will you be able to predict the potential problems that may arise? This problem can be solved through PERSONA CREATION! Personas are the fictional characters representing your target audiences, created based on comprehensive user research that will use your product or service. Personas are created to represent the potential user types who might use your company’s products and services similarly. Persona, in a single simplified statement, can be defined as an illustration of an ideal customer. 

In the simplest terms, buyer personas are examples or archetypes of real buyers that allow marketers to craft strategies to promote products and services to the people who might buy them.

Adele Revella

Persona creation aids in building an efficient and smarter business. For an entrepreneur and business success, it is crucial to understand the needs, goals, motivations, experiences, behaviour, and problems of a user. The entrepreneurs should focus on effective persona creation to build their social media strategy, advertisements, and communications strategy. 

Creating personas facilitates the identification of target users, as every individual has different expectations and requirements. It provides a goal to your marketing, sales, and design teams. Personas are created based on data collected from numerous individuals, which gives a human touch to your research facts. Personas, also termed model characters, offer more in-depth insights into research patterns, through which you can assess the impact of your developed designs. They guide you towards the goal of achieving excellence by creating a good target user experience. Persona construction leads you to ask precise questions and answer them according to the users for whom the product is designed. 

Types of Personas

Personas can be demonstrated by different perspectives to reflect the motivations, behaviour, skillset, and attitude of the target users. These perspectives ensure to gain maximum benefit for your startup. We will discuss these persona perspectives below:

Goal-directed Personas

Goal-directed personas are “straight to the point” types whose aim is workflow and process scrutiny that users would prefer to attain their goals. It is presumed that your research has established your product value to the user, and now you aim to fulfil their requirements and objectives. Perspectives of Alan Cooper, recognized as the “Father of Visual, established the goal-directed personas.

Role-Based Personas

Role-based personas are goal-directed, which focuses on the behaviour and the user’s role. These personas are based on data that is integrated from the qualitative and quantitative types of sources. The role played by the users in real life is minutely analyzed that can lead to improved product design choices. It should be able to answer various questions about the intended use of the product, required business objectives, the purpose of this role, functions of this role, or affected people by the role’s duties.

Engaging Personas

Both the goal and role directed personas can be integrated into the engaging personas. Engaging personas aim to create an accurate 3D user version for the designers’ better engagement. The more the “real” they look, the better are the chances to be considered for being served the best product. The engaging personas aid in inspecting the users’ emotions, psychological behaviour, and backgrounds for the relevant tasks.

The engaging perspective is rooted in the ability of stories to produce involvement and insight. Through an understanding of characters and stories, it is possible to create a vivid and realistic description of fictitious people. The purpose of the engaging perspective is to move from designers seeing the user as a stereotype with whom they are unable to identify and whose life they cannot envision, to designers actively involving themselves in the lives of the personas. The other persona perspectives are criticized for causing a risk of stereotypical descriptions by not looking at the whole person, but instead focusing only on behaviour.

Lene Nielsen

Fictional Personas

The fictional persona arises from the UX design team’s experience gained through previous interactions with the user base and products’ assumptions. The fictional persona can be utilized as a preliminary draft of the user requirements. Still, it should not be relied on as a reference for your product development or services to be provided.

The fictional persona arises from the UX design team’s experience gained through previous interactions with the user base and products’ assumptions. The fictional persona can be utilized as a preliminary draft of the user requirements. Still, it should not be relied on as a reference for your product development or services to be provided.

Factors to be considered in persona designing

In creating and designing a user persona, different factors should be considered:

Demographics

Demographics refer to an individual’s external/physical detailed information about their age, gender, marital status, family, ethnicity, professional title, or income.

Psychographics

Psychographics includes the internal factors and emotional state of an individual like his interests, behaviour, attitude, habits, principles, and priorities.

Pain points

Pain points experienced by the user can vary depending on your products and services. Thus, the struggles and problems faced by your target audience should be determined accurately to provide maximum customer satisfaction.

Steps required to be taken for Persona Creation

Creating a persona is crucial for entrepreneurs who customize and design their products and services to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. User personas have proven to be very useful for designers as they guarantee to meet the user needs and purchase by the user. Persona creation is an investment that ensures a better product and a better business. Different steps involved in persona creation are mentioned below:

  • Data Collection and analysis
  • Persona descriptions
  • Scenarios preparation for personas
  • Acceptance and involvement
  • Adjustments and updating personas

Best practices for developing personas

  • Conducting user research
  • Research condensation
  • Brainstorming
  • Refinement of search results
  • Making the results realistic

The personas construction for conducting user research:

  • Background research: Background research involves a comprehensive investigation of client’s profile, his competitors, and social media accounts to gain informational details about your client.
  • Qualitative research: Qualitative research encompasses a direct contact with the researched subject involving client interviews, conducting in-person user testing; various surveys, and online chatting.
  • Observational research: In the observational phase, the result of an interaction between a website and the user in its natural environment can be checked, which demonstrates the user behavior in the absence of any guidance.
  • Quantitative research: The statistical analysis of the websites influencing user and website interaction metrics is performed. It also involves funnel reporting and web and data analytics.

Components of a Persona

The characteristic features of a good persona to be included are:

  1. Persona Group (Banker, Marketer, Web Manager)
  2. Fictional name
  3. Professional and personal background
  4. Job titles and Major Responsibilities
  5. Demographics (Age, gender, education, ethnicity, and family status)
  6. The end goals and tasks to be completed
  7. “I need/want” statements.
  8. Past buying history
  9. The physical, social, and technological environment
  10. A quote to sum up what matters most to the persona
  11. Casual pictures of that user group

Persona Creator Tools

Numerous persona creator tools are available in the market to assist you in designing a user persona to achieve maximum customer satisfaction. We will be discussing the most recognized and widely used software.

Hubspot- Make my persona

Hubspot’s “Make my Persona” generator allow you to create and manage customer or user persona through an easy process for your startup. It also permits the photo inclusion to your user personas. It is free and intended for B2B businesses. Other informational details like tools used by the user, hierarchical position in his/her company, whom they report to, etc. besides name and job title can also be included.

Advantages: it’s free of cost, easy to use, and questions can be customized.

Limitations: graphic options are less, the persona cannot be edited in PDF or Word formats

Xtensio

Xtensio is a B2B and B2C persona generator that allows the creation of shareable presentations and documents with free templates from different categories. Xtensio is preferred for its exceptional user-friendly interface, convenience, and robustness.

Advantages: the interface is user friendly and free for the starters

Limitations: Documents cannot be saved or exported with the free plan.

UserForge

Userforge is a free persona creator tool designed for B2C businesses. It allows the creation of your criteria and shares the created quotes, text blocks, and lists easily and quickly.

Advantages: user-friendly interface, easily customizable, free of cost

Limitations: unable to upload external images, included only one language.

Smaply

Smaply, a B2C persona generator facilitates the visualization of the customer experience through the creation of personas, maps for stakeholders, and various customer journey maps. The journey maps help an entrepreneur to gain knowledge of the steps taken by a customer before buying their product or service. The created persona can be shared easily with the team members, duplicated, edited, and exported in the form of PDF files. 

Advantages: easily shareable, the complete customer journey can be mapped

Limitations: It is not free, no free trial available, and no supporting plugins.

Uxpressia

Uxpressia is a persona creator designed for B2C business with excellent features and can be easily shared among your colleagues and highly responsive. It has both free and paid versions.

Advantages: Its design is user friendly and very responsive.

Limitations: The editing options are limited and lack of customization features.

Personapp

Personapp is an excellent framework for starter B2C businesses for creating user personas. It offers a quick and lean interface with shareable features.

Advantages: It is available free of cost, a lean interface, and has shareable features.

Limitations: It lacks sections like habits or pain points. In-app directions for platform use are also missing.

Up Close and persona

Up Close persona, the software is focused on B2B business, which is easy to use and very informational. It facilitates detailed persona generation and aids in effective client targeting.

In creating your first persona, the errors to be avoided are:

  • The customer persona should not be based on one real customer but a merger of all customers.
  • Avoid creating customer persona based on stereotypes and assumptions
  • The persona should not be unrealistic without any type of inconsistencies.
  • The persona created should not be generic but specific and representative of one of your core customer groups.

In the current competitive business scenario, persona creator tools are crucial and serve as a boon for entrepreneurs. Deep insights about the customer’s interests and priorities will take an entrepreneur towards success in the long run, irrespective of their business type, digital or physical. The software mentioned above for persona creation facilitates a free persona template that allows a clear understanding of the persona creation process. 

The time and energy invested in creating a user persona will speed up the sales and lead to business growth. To achieve the goal of generating brand ambassadors for the long term, comprehensive customer knowledge and maintaining continuous communications are vital. The entrepreneurs should pay heed to the challenges and issues faced by their customers. Finally, the last but not the least important thing to remember is the continuously evolving nature of a user persona. The new information and other details about the potential and existing customers should be updated every few months to maintain its relevance to your business.

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