The creation of user personas is a powerful technique for helping to increase the usability of your website or web app. Personas span from knowing your client base by conducting user research and who you’re targeting your website or services for.
Forming a persona should then allow you to tailor the experience based on their personality, needs and ability.
Therefore, this is the most important part to creating your personas. Who are your customers and what do they want?
What is a persona?
A persona put simply is “a summary of the characteristics, needs, motivations and environment of a typical type of visitor to your site”.
In order for any persona to be effective and really help the design of your website you need to talk to your customers or target audience. Gaining an understanding of who they are is Key.
What goes into making a persona?
When creating a persona there are a number of elements at work, however, most of these can be obtained by talking directly with your target audience.
There are a number of questions which you can answer, however, the main points to consider are:
All of these questions build upon your understanding of your customer base and allow you to draw some conclusions about them.
Using this new found information you can create some example client/customer profiles. These profiles can then be used when evaluating the effectiveness of your website or application.
Does your website/application fit the needs, capabilities of each of these personas?
If yes, then great, but that’s unlikely as there is always room for improvement, and it may be time to consider some more user testing.
If no, that’s fine, the next question is where does it not fit and why? This could be as simple as the terminology used in the text or it could be something more fundamental like the application flow.
Once you know where some of the problems lie, you can make the necessary steps to correct this. It’s important to review any changes against these personas again to ensure a fit.
Common reasons why personas can fail
There are a number of reason why your personas can be ineffective, but in most cases these fall under two categories:
The best way to solve these problems is simply an investment. Learning more about the customers, their needs and expectations is helpful in many ways and just makes commercial sense.
Start small and ask a couple of your customers for feedback. As soon as you do, you’ll start to see the benefit. You can then scale up to improve your results and gain a better understand your customers and as you do, you’ll improve your customer relations.
User personas provide you with a clear understanding of your customers, who they are, what they need and why they are here. Knowing this allows you to customise and modify their experience using your website.
However, the process of creating personas is beneficial in a multitude of areas and can lead to improvement outside of just your online presence. Leading to improve customer relegations, better messaging and the all important customer conversion.
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About the Author
Joe joined Tecmark in March 2016 as a web developer, he now leads our development team who create and manage a wide range of online lead generating project. With a strong eye for attention to detail he ensures we deliver high quality, user oriented online experiences.Visit Joe's Page
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