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What are user personas and why are they important?

Technology is fueling the growth of brands and businesses. Additionally, it is also making the consumers and buyers more powerful. They now have a wider and more easy access to a wide range of options when it comes to accessing products and services.

Unlimited options of online brands, easy access to the internet, and the proliferation of smartphones has made consumers more picky and smarter. Nowadays, it takes more than the bare minimum to impress consumers and only the brands that are ready to walk that extra mile, can survive and succeed in the long run.

For instance, if you have a website then it is necessary to make an app and offer the convenience of mobility and portability to your users. Being available 24×7 and understanding the preferences of your consumers has become mandatory.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to create user personas for your brand and use them to make data backed decisions. So, what are user personas, why are they important and how can you create them? Read the blog till the end and find out!

User personas: An introduction to the concept

User personas are semi-fictional representations of your target customers that are created based on extensive study and research. These meaningful archetypes are created to help a design or production team understand “who they are creating for and what are their preferences”.

It gives you an insight about your target audience and their preferences. For instance, creating user personas for your mobile app can help you in gauging the effectiveness of your UI and UX design.

While a user persona may be fictitious, the sample data and references used are often derived from real-life derivations and experiences. It may include data related to the users’ demographics, personality traits, motivation behind using the products, goals and expectations, frustrations, etc.

For instance, if you have an eCommerce business that sells maternity products, you can create different user personas of working moms, stay at home moms, first time mothers, and more, and help your team understand their varied needs, preferences, behaviors, and more. This can help your team create better products, marketing plans, etc., and be ready for different situations and scenarios.

In short, user personas can help you identify different consumer pain points, and anticipate situations and reactions that your product may face and keep you prepared for that. While the parameters and approach may vary from business to business, the base purpose of user personas remains the same, i.e., to help brands analyze their target audience and impress them.

Types of user personas

The types of user personas you use for your business, totally depends on your requirements and goals. While there is no standard or universal rule for creating user personas, it may primarily adhere to one of the following categories:

#1: Proto personas

This process is based less on research and more on assumptions. Proto personas are used for quick representations where extensive research is either not feasible or not required.

#2: Qualitative personas

This process is based on sample or qualitative research where a small group of people are considered. One may use interviews, surveys, or usability tests to collect crucial data for creating the personas.

#3: Statistical personas

This process involves both qualitative and quantitative research where personas are created using both surveys and statistical data collected through various mediums. While statistical personas can be more accurate and informative, the process is a bit expensive and time consuming and may not suit small businesses.

Checklist for creating user personas

What factors and data you use to define your user personas may depend highly upon your target audience, business goals, nature of the brand, and more. However, some of the common elements that can be included are as listed below:

#1: Name and Demographics

Give a name and identity to your persona. When defining the demographics, you may include factors like age, gender, address, educational qualification, occupation, marital status, income, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and more. You can also assign a photograph to the identity.

#2: Bio & personality traits

Add a user bio and define the user and his life journey in a few words. Also include personality traits for a better understanding. Knowing your users’ personalities is one of the most crucial aspects of building a satisfactory brand experience.

#3: Motivations & frustrations

List the factors that are likely to motivate the person. Also include the factors that frustrate your user. This will add more weight to the realistic aspect of your user persona.

#4: Goals

Identify the goals of your users in respect to your own brand. List out the goals that the user may have so that they can be met by your team as the product is shaped and developed.

#5: Preferred brands

List out the brands and influencers that your users may prefer, the products they might be consuming, the services they might be using, and more. This will help you understand their needs and their behavior as a consumer.

Why are user personas important?

User personas are important for any business. Read the points discussed below and discover the benefits of creating user personas for your business.

Achieve consistency

Creating user personas can bring all your employees and stakeholders on the same page and boost consistency. It will give everyone the same notion of the targeted user groups and help harmonize the brand endeavors in the right direction.

Assess user behavior

Creating user personas can put multiple factors in perspective and help you assess the probable behavior of your consumers. It can help you get inside the minds of your users and understand their pain points, goals, frustrations, needs, behavioral patterns, etc.

Define the workflow

Creating user personas can help you eliminate irrelevant factors and focus on the defined needs of users. This can boost the workflow and give your team-mates a strategic path to follow. They will be able to redirect their efforts and make every step of the production more effective.

Enhance product positioning

Creating user personas can also help you understand and identify a market for your product or service. It will enable you to place your product in a viable environment and help you make the most of the opportunities coming your way.

Open doors to new ideas

As user personas can enhance your decision-making and working scenarios, it ultimately leads to new ideas and inputs. By creating archetypes, you can move ahead with a calculated approach and this reasoning can have a positive impact in the decisions you make for your business.

Tips to create the best user personas for your online brand

collect user data

Depending upon the nature of the business, brand goals, target audience, and several other factors, the user personas may vary from brand to brand. While some brands may need only a small number of user personas, others may need a lot of them.

The process and steps of creating the archetypes may also vary. However, some of the strategic decisions and procedures may remain the same.

Basically, it involves data collection and analysiswriting user persona descriptions based on the findings or hypothesisidentifying scenarios of problems, conflicts, etc.; and finally, the process of propagating the information among the teams.

On a wider scale, this may include some additional and more intricate steps as well. So, what are the strategies that you must keep in mind when creating user personas? Discover the suggestions listed below and find out: 

Research and collect data

Use ample research to form your data and hypothesis. Dig as many resources as you can. You can also use real-life people and experiences for building the research material. 

Form a hypothesis or map

Depending on your goals and the information, proceed to forma hypothesis or chalk out a probable map of your targeted user’s journey.

Describe the personas

Once your target groups are ideated and defined, you can proceed to give shape to individual user personas. Add the details based on the checklist above, or as per your specific needs, and create your archetypes.

Use creative representations

Use visual and creative representations to express your findings and user personas. This will make your content more comprehensible and reduce the cognitive burden on those who need to work with the user personas.

Highlight critical metrics

Highlight the critical and common metrics in all your user personas. This will help your team identify the connecting or unifying factor and pay quick attention to significant areas.

Communicate data with accuracy

Pay attention to detail as you create and share the user personas. Distribute your findings among the team and let them make data backed decisions as they develop, shape or market the product.

Identify scenarios and situations

Start brainstorming with your team and use the personas to identify the pain points, use cases, special situations, etc., that you might come across. Prepare for any setbacks or challenges by anticipating the scenarios.

These are just some of the generic points that you can keep in mind as you create user personas for your brand or business. You may factor in the special cases and elements that affect or influence your brand. However, do not forget to create well-defined but concise user personas and harness them to the full potential to make informed business decisions.

Wrapping up!

That was all from our end today. Now that you know how this can be done, go ahead and implement it. Do your research and create user personas for your website and mobile app.

However, if you do not already have an app and are looking for solutions to build one, then you can sign up for free Android and iOS app builder by AppMySite. Here, you can create premium apps for your website on an affordable budget.

You can build the apps, customize them as per your desired theme and layout and preview the apps to make them flawless, all in a DIY environment without writing a single line of code.

AppMySite also enables you to collect app analytics that you can use to create data-backed research projects. It is evident that users interact more frequently with an app. So, you can also collect useful information to create user personas and attract new users by making powerful business decisions.

Mobile apps are the need of the hour, so go ahead and build one. You can also go through our tutorial blogs and learn how to build an app without coding in minutes. Go ahead and launch your app for users and tap into the mobile industry with minimum effort.

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