Crafting a “Perfect User” (Persona) Profile

14.03.2016 |

Episode #4 of the course “The Fundamentals of User Experience” by Cassius Kiani

 

It pays to understand your perfect user.

This is the ideal user (or group) that your product is ultimately built for or geared toward. In marketing, they refer to this as a persona profile, so that’s the term we’ll use too.

So, how do you craft a persona profile, and why does this help with user experience? Well, one of the main reasons is focus.

When you’re designing or planning anything, it’s really easy to drift away from your core goals. You can use generic examples such as “to simplify the interface” or to “reduce user input times,” but these don’t necessarily mean anything to you or your product.

Can you really say that either of these will make an impact on your growth or revenue?

With UX, making meaningful decisions is much easier with two things—research and a persona profile. That way, all your future goals and initiatives have a purpose.

Below are a few simple questions you can use to start creating your own persona profile. When you’re crafting a persona profile, remember the purpose. In this case, it’s UX-centric, so make sure they correlate accordingly:

Persona Profile

Name
It’s much more human (and fun) to name your persona. I’d recommend using alliterations like Handsome Harry or Smart Susan.

Demographics
List factors such as age, sex, marital status, education, location, occupation, and income. These help paint a picture of the way your users think and a few likely problems they face.

Interests
Understanding your users’ interests is vital to creating quality experiences. Think about where they hang out (online or offline), what makes them happy, and what they do to unwind.

Goals and Dreams
What does an average day look like for your users? What are their goals in the short term and the long term? What are their hopes and dreams?

Pains and Frustrations
What annoys your users on a daily basis? What problems do they face in their personal and work lives? What frustrations appear on a daily basis?

Time Perspective
How important is time? Are they very time-sensitive, or are they willing to take longer on specific value-based actions? Are they hedonistic or future-positive?

These questions aren’t fixed, and you can change them or add more questions depending on your needs. What’s outlined above is a very basic persona profile; the questions and profile itself can go much deeper.

Above all, keep your persona profile relevant and (wherever possible) research-based.

You can find great examples of persona questions here:
150 Buyer Persona Questions You Must Ask

Persona examples:
What Does a Great Buyer Persona Look Like? Dissecting 3 Real-Life Examples

For a better understanding of time perspectives:
An Overview of Time Perspective Types

 

Recommended book

“Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User Research” by Jeff Sauro

 

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