Who are you designing for? What does your target audience like? What are their motivations and frustrations? A persona can help you create better designs, products and experiences to help your users meet their goals. According to HubSpot, personas make websites 100-400% more effective and easier to use.
In this article, we’ll explore tactics and tools that will help you create a persona, turning abstract data into a relatable human user you and your brand can help.
A persona is a one- to two-page summary of insights based on qualitative (why or how) and quantitative (how many) data plus external market research. Insights might include core demographics, goals, frustrations, personality traits, and favorite brands—resulting in a mini biography about a person who represents a larger group of your target users.
Ask yourself: “Who is our best buyer?” Answers to this question help your team understand how to market to your customer and shape important strategies like product development roadmaps.
For example, let’s say you have a website that helps people find coupons and rebates for national stores. One of your personas may be “Promo-Code Pat,” a 38-year-old power user on a budget who cross-shops sites to get the best price. They're clever with search terms, love technology, use social media, and ace word games.
By understanding Pat’s goals and behaviors, you and your team can better meet their needs with customer-centric design decisions.
Want to start making your user personas? Get started with FigJam's free template today.
The trick to creating a great persona is to start with empathy. Put yourself in the shoes of your user and put their needs first. Your business goals and the amount of detailed data you have will help determine the scope of your persona.
Useful personas are based on reliable information from a variety of sources, not hunches or assumptions.
How to research existing users
If you have existing users, you already have access to data to inform your personas. Here's how you can tap rich data sources to build your personas.
How to apply market research
If you’re starting a business or launching your first digital product, you may not have users yet. In this case, market research can inform your personas. You can study your competitors' customers, purchase 3rd-party research on your target, or check out these free data sources.
After gathering and studying research, look for patterns. Your goal is to create a few groups with distinct characteristics. For example, you might find that meditation app users generally fall into one of the following categories:
Aside from a shared passion for your products, you may notice that these customer segments don't have much overlap. That's a useful insight: these differentiated user segments can serve as the basis for three distinct personas.
Brainstorming templates and mind maps are handy tools to sort large amounts of data. FigJam templates help you organize and label trends, leave notes, and host online meetings to share insights and inspiration.
Your research can help you uncover more background information about each persona. With just a few data points, you can get a sense of who this person is and why they’re drawn to your product.
For example, let's call the power user of your meditation app “High-Performance Jamie.” Here’s what Jamie's basic persona might include:
FigJam’s persona template includes prompts for all of the data, traits, and user info you’ll want to capture and share with stakeholders. To expand your persona with more visuals, you can use a moodboard. This visual shorthand helps every stakeholder understand who your users are, how to engage with them, and how to meet and exceed their expectations.
Biographical summaries can bring life and insight to your personas, helping your teams empathize with users and anticipate their behaviors.
Here’s an example based on High-Performance Jamie:
Jaime works at home but is always on the go. Some days, Jamie's only downtime is while driving to appointments, schools and stores. That's when Jamie listens to health and wellness podcasts. To manage stress at work and to reset before engaging with family, Jamie meditates using an app.
Jamie frequently does Pilates, shops at Trader Joes, watches TV using Hulu, and comments on friends' Instagram posts. Jamie is most likely to download apps advertised on Instagram, Hulu, or on health and wellness podcasts.
Once your personas take shape, loop in your team to add detail to the FigJam persona template. As they get to know your personas, they can sculpt workflows and make informed design decisions with these targets in mind.
Personas transform impersonal data points into people your team can relate to, giving them the insights and empathy needed to inform decision-making, messaging, and product development.
Whether you’re tuning up your brand messaging or refining your product design, FigJam makes design fun again. Find your design inspiration in our customer journey maps, 200+ persona templates designed by our community of design pros, and find your own Figma persona on the Figma Blog.
Ready to showcase your team's creativity, organization, and collaboration?