user persona essentials

Essentials for your user persona template

User personas help you get a better understanding of your perfect customer. This data will then influence your website design, customer touch-points, products or services.

So what’s a user persona?

A persona is simply a profile of your target user. There’s a good chance you will identify more than one persona, but that’s ok. Once you’ve brought these personas to life, it’s much easier to identify your ideal customer(s).

According to Nielsen Norman Group, world leaders in research-based UX:

Personas are fictional representations of a cluster of your target users who exhibit similar attitudes, goals, and behaviours in relation to your product. They’re human-like snapshots of relevant and meaningful commonalities among your customer groups that are based on user research.

Why you need a persona

Personas are a key part of user research for any service-based project or business. After all, how can you sell something to a customer if you don’t know what they like, or what objections they may have before making a purchase.

Once you have a good idea of who your users are, you’ll be able to tailor the user experience and website design exactly to their needs.

Depending on your business needs, the data you gather may vary. Below are a few examples of what you may need to gather from your user persona.

  • Who they are
  • What they like
  • Their age
  • Their gender
  • Their goals
  • Their background
  • Their habits
  • Their spending habits
  • Their pain points
  • Their needs

Creating user personas is not an excuse to avoid communicating with real users or prospects. Personas and real-life research need to go hand in hand.

The essentials

A persona should always include basic information about your target user. This snapshot includes stuff like:

  • An image so you can put a face to the name
  • Full name to bring them to life
  • Their age and gender are important so you know the demographic breakdown
  • Where they live is critical if you’re targeting by location
  • Job title to establish if they’re a decision-maker, or an influencer
  • Short bio to really highlight their character traits

It goes without saying, you can’t do this for every target user – that would be nuts!

Top tip: Categorise the different user types. We use a simple alphabetise system.

The example below is our ideal user.

Droitwich Digital -Alfie Baines user persona card

Meet Alfie, he’s a 39-year-old business owner from Solihull, his three-year-old business has doubled year on year. He’s been guilty of neglecting the website, which he built to save money, however, it no longer reflects who they are or his future vision.

Working flat out, Alfie knows if you want something done give it to a busy person. That’s why he sees the value in collaborating with specialists.

He opted for a Jag over a BMW as his local Jaguar dealership will collect and deliver at work – leaving him more time to focus on growing the business.

His wife Carla tells him the Boden website is amazing as they seem to know what type things she likes. She’s happy to pay a little extra, as she knows quality is worth paying for.

Goals

This is where you’d put all of their goals, what motivates them and how this relates to your product or service. For example. If your business sells weight loss courses, you probably don’t want a user persona that included a goal like:

``I want to increase my muscle mass and bulk up.``

Your target user persona would probably have a goal like:

``I want to lose 4 stone and be able to walk more than a mile without stopping.``

Document what is motivating your personas now and what may motivate them in the future. With this written down, you can take an educated guess to what would drive them to your product or service.

Pain points

Like identifying their goals, it’s just as crucial to find out their pain points. Once you know these, they will influence your User Experience and UI design decisions more than anything. That’s because they give you an indication of how exactly your product can help them.

You need to know the frustrations in order to sell them your solution to their problems.

You need to know their frustrations in order to sell them your solution to their problems.

Just like the goals, pain points should be related back to your products or services. By asking a few simple questions you can identify their issues. Questions like:

  • What frustrates them?
  • What struggles do they have?
  • How much time do they waste in areas of their business that should be automated?
  • How much money do they burn with their current inefficient solution?

By highlighting their struggles, fears and frustrations, you’ll be able to find answers for them when you ask:

How is my product or service going to help solve these issues for them?

It’s all about solving problems

Your users and their personas are unique to you, your business needs and your sales goals.

Identify your target users, find out what they need and solve their problems.