Defining Personas

Before you build a product, you must know “Who is going to use your product?”. Never start building a product thinking that you are going to build the product for everyone. That’s a terrible idea, instead, you must come up with personas.

What is a Persona?

Persona literally means — “the aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others.”

Basically, you must write down in detail the characters of the customers/users. This need not be real, you can create a fictitious but real list of characteristics to start with.

Why create Personas?

Every persona you create represents a group of your target audience and it is not actually a single person. Once you have a clear picture of your persona, the way you design the solution differs. If your persona’s age is 18, you design it in one way and if your persona’s age is 45, you design it in another way. Defining a persona helps you to make development, marketing, and sales decisions very easy.

What is the value proposition for your persona?

To be successful, the product must offer value to all of the personas. The user experience of the product and marketing materials must be designed to appeal to your personas.

What you must do before coming up with Personas?

Do not try to come up with a persona before setting the core values of your company right. Clearly define the core values. This vision in mind would be lead you to pick a persona, and also it would lead to the right value proposition.

I will put together another blog post and talk more about finding/knowing the company's core value. Do follow me to get an update when I write that.

What must be defined in the Persona?

First, and foremost, what is the persona's goal, write down what is he/she after, and with this as the basis write down all possible variants of the personas with as many relevant characteristics as possible.

Example of Persona

Let’s consider Uber as a product and let's write down a persona.

Goal: Wants to be healthy and visit doctor bi-weekly to be treated for allergies in b/w work.

Name: John Doe

Age: 45 Years

Gender: Male

Occupation: Sr. Software Engineer

Location: Austin, Texas

Married: Yes

Kids: 2

Owns Car?: Yes

Education: MS in Computer Science

Income: 100,000 USD per annum

Access to Uber: iPhone App

Location of Access: Weekdays in Office / Weekends at Home

So, I believe you got a basic idea. This is how you start and you can add as many relevant characteristics as possible.

In the same way, write as many relevant personas as possible.

Do you just sit and write down all the Personas randomly?

No, do not do that. As I said earlier your personas can be fictitious, but the characteristics must be based on some user research and the target audience for your product. Usually, each persona represents a group of people with similar characteristics. It is always advisable and it would be very helpful if you spend some time performing user research, which could help you build solid personas.

I hope with this blog you got some idea about writing personas and now you can dig deeper into this topic further by yourself!

Let me know if you liked this post with a clap or a comment.

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Abhilash Marichi

Abhilash Marichi

Data Engineer at Amazon. I write about Data, Product & Life.