A user persona is a comprehensive description of your ideal customer. It is a standard tool in practices like design realm and marketing field. In general, a persona is based on your primary and secondary research results. Coupled with an influx of data and findings, a persona featuring four major elements can be created. These four elements include geodemographic information, needs identification, objective settings and behaviour patterns. If you used to study marketing management before, you probably connect user persona with STP theories easily, particularly, customer segmentation. This is a very classic way to identify customers. Nowadays, starting with “a 27-year-old male banker, based in London and loves travelling” seems not appealing any more when you want to dig deep into user behaivour patterns and figure out your customers’ pain points. This approach we used to extensively adopt before actually was not a persona who looks real with actionable or testable variables. In this post, we will be introducing our way of creating user personas.
Before focusing on the “core part” of persona, let’s get back to basics first. Obviously, to build a complete persona, geodemographic information still plays a pivotal role. In this sense, knowing who your users are and where are they based is subject to determining who will be receptive to your product and communication messages. However, we would not suggest you ask “why” and “how” questions when finalising geodemographic information as these questions will be further discussed and solved when you move to the next phase. Principal factors incorporated in geodemographic details are identified as: age, gender, marriage status, education background, occupation and location.
Traditional behaviour pattern investigation is more marketing-oriented. In other words, when talking about behaviour factors, we focus more on information reception and communication between customers and marketing aspect rather than checking how they interact with a certain type of product or service from the product development perspective. Therefore, researching on user behaviour patterns should put a focal point on every single touch points of a holistic user journey. From the goals associated with their current behaviour to their buying and media preferences, it is necessary to dive deeper into the key drivers of these behaviour patterns. Asking “why” and “how” questions helps you understand “why people do what they do in order to achieve something by using what tools or method?” The insights elicited from behaviour pattern research assist your product development team in product feature configuration and how they can approach ideal customers. Apart from a description of user behaviour pattern, it also makes sense to draw a behaviour flow from the moment they start getting in touch with you to the end of a customer journey.
Before fulfil your users’ needs and requirements, defining a user’s pain points should be considered as the top priority. The pain points not only explain what keeps bothering your users around while they are engaging in a certain activity, but also highlights the gap between the market offerings and users’ unfulfilled needs. Hence, understanding what the real problems your users have and why your product or service can be a pain-relief panacea on a daily basis should be mapped out in your user persona.
According to UX booth, a good persona should be equipped with the following characteristics:
● It focuses on user’s current state and behaviour pattern, not the future
● It should be very detailed and realistic after conducting sufficient research
● It should reflect a panorama of your users’ behaviour, needs, attitudes, goals, motivations and pain points.
Considering the aforementioned criteria, you are able to create a great persona which can be used in your product development process.
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