The Right Way to Create and Update Your User Personas

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 at 10:30am
The Right Way to Create and Update Your User Personas

Your product likely has a few different types of users and administrators. This variety of users can be broken down and classified into different personas. “Personas are fictional characters created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way.” Consider these users and their unique characteristics, this is a great starting point for updating your users’ persona profiles.

Next, consider what is most important to each of these typical users when it comes to daily tasks, long-term project goals, and overall achievements. Other questions to consider include:

  • What are the challenges associated with their needs? Their department’s needs?

  • How do these challenges and needs require them to interact with your product?

  • What would they value most in the product you’re marketing? In other words, what would appeal to them, by addressing their core needs and concerns, if they were in the market for a new product?

If your organization has any product user groups, these can also be a great resource for receiving hands-on feedback. If your team includes a Client Advocate role of any type, their interactions with current clients can also help shape your personas. They have the ability to provide you with direct feedback on a client’s current experience with your product, and how it relates to their daily duties within their organization.

Once you have decided on your persona profiles, creating persona documentation is a helpful next step. Some organizations even prefer to go as far as to use photos (stock photos of course) along with fictitious names when generating these documents. These visuals can help complete the picture when working towards a website redesign or updating your current visitor journeys.

The information found in persona visuals includes more than just a fake photo. These documents should contain the following details as well.

What should be in your persona's profile?

  • Demographics: Age, occupation, and other demographic information for this persona.
  • Daily Routine: What makes up a typical work day for this persona?
  • Motivations: What does this persona value in your product?How can your product help them be more efficient at work?
  • Painpoints:What features does this persona absolutely need from your product? What are their current pain points?

Connecting the Dots:

What is this persona’s competency level with your product? How familiar are they with using it?How comfortable are they with being online and using technology overall?

The degree to which your organization feels the need to breakdown each of these categories may vary. Overall though, the bigger picture to focus on is how the various personas who may visit your site can have the best experience possible. Most importantly because in today’s world, if they don’t have a good visit, they may not come back.

What has your organization found to be an effective approach to updating personas and in turn, visitor journeys on your site?

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