Class #3: Personas

This class reminded me of the famous scene from “What Women Want” with Mel Gibson when he needs to come up with a campaign for products targeted to women. He goes as far as shaving his legs to be able to understand what the motivations and pain points of this audience are:

Having done my interviews and surveys the next step was to use the accumulated data to inform my decisions for the features my app / website should and should not have. In order to do this I had to nail down who the potential audience was and what would motivate them to use my app. The best way to do so is by creating a fictitious person to represent the majority of your audience called a “persona”.

Personas are used both in marketing and design therefore the concept was already familiar to me. Personas are built from the following elements (although the list can change based on how detailed you need to make them for your project):

  • A name and a photo
  • Demographic data
  • A quote describing the problem to solve in a sentence
  • Bio
  • Motivations
  • Pain points
  • Goals
  • Frustrations
  • Values / associations (such as what brands the persona would purchase and what s/he likes to do in her free time)
  • Ideal experience elements: how a site / app could solve her problem in a perfect world
  • Etc.

It is recommended that for a simple project like mine I shouldn’t have more than 2–3 personas. When I finished analyzing and compiling data from my research I found that I can describe the target audience simply through 1 persona.

It is also important to be specific with your personas. It is better to target your solution to “mothers with 3 children who don’t have a smartphone, and then, mothers from the rest of the world” than just mothers. This is a persona that helps you guide design decisions instead of just serving overall marketing or sales goals.

Based on the above I developed my own persona, Cindy. Meet her at the link below:

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