As a designer, it’s your job to anticipate the needs and goals of your users –– utilizing specific consumer personas in UX design powers your decisions with a relatable name, face, and story.
You’re working on an exciting idea for a new app or software program. You have a vision for the difference it will make in people’s lives and how it could disrupt the marketplace. You have an idea of the users that could benefit from your work. But, before you dive into creating a flawless user experience design, your first step should be to really get to know the person on the other end.
To do that, you’ll launch user research that will help you develop consumer personas to utilize as you make decisions regarding the flow, design, and experience of your app.
Let’s Talk About Persona 101
Persona is a buzzword that marketers, designers, strategists, and other professionals use to discuss the target audience for their campaigns and products.
This goes beyond something like a one-dimensional description of a 45-year-old female or 19-year-old male to create a full-circle snapshot of an actual person who could be your ideal end-user. It gives this person, or persona, a story with habits, preferences, hobbies, likes, and dislikes. This persona is a profile with a name, photo, geography, and occupation.
While the 360-degree view may be fictional, the specific attributes are grounded in audience data conducted during the discovery process. The resulting persona acts as a beacon throughout the user experience design process. It lets you answer the question, “Who is going to use this?” and allows you to target all of your design decisions towards mapping out an optimal experience for a specific user.
Create User Personas that Make an Impact
User personas let you get in the minds of your targeted end-users. They allow you to hone in on the goals, pain points, and habits of the people who you want to download and use your app on a regular basis. In order for you to create a successful user experience, you need to have a target. It’s not a one size fits all process.
But, how do you create successful user personas to utilize in UX design? This may be the point at which you bring in an outside partner, like Technology Rivers, to help you focus and clarify your work but, regardless of whether you go forth on your own or bring in the experts, here are the steps you’ll walk through.
3 Steps to Create Consumer Personas to Utilize in UX Design
First, consider the basic demographic information you have on hand. What first-party data do you have regarding your ideal customers? Do you know their age, gender, occupation, income, or other general demographic information? Expand upon who they are, what they do, and what they enjoy.
Next, think about your target consumer’s needs and behavioral actions. What are they looking to accomplish when they download your app? Do you know their current pain points in the digital world? How about their goals today, tomorrow, and long term? You don’t just want to know who your target audience is, you want to know what will drive these consumer personas to interact and engage with you.
Lastly, use the information you have to put into place to create your targeted consumer personas. It does not have to be limited to one. Perhaps you have Mary, a 48-year old married mother of two. She works in public relations, enjoys dining at new restaurants, hiking, and looks for apps that help her run her busy life more efficiently. You also have John, a 32-year old single man running a start-up. He likes craft beer, traveling, and looks for innovative apps that save time, while also making him feel on the cutting edge of new technology.
Attach a biography and photo to these personas and imagine when and how they’ll use your program. You want to humanize the user as much as possible. Go the extra step and give each a name, “The On-the-Go Working Mom” or “The Tech-Savvy Start-Up Founder.”
And, don’t think that consumer personas stop with you. They can be utilized across teams, from product development to marketing to customer service.
Utilize Consumer Personas in UX Design
With consumer personas in place, the UX design of your app or software has a specific and clear goal. You want the end user that the persona represents to be able to fully utilize your program in an efficient and beneficial way.
Personas are the backbone of the design thinking process. They enable you to walk through scenarios in which the consumer personas would look to your app to reach a goal or solve a pain point. They give you a window into empathy, or understanding the experience of the end user. Personas allow for concrete thinking about how your app will be used in the real world.
UX designers can find themselves so ingrained in the process that it’s difficult to step back. But, with a persona in mind, they can remind themselves that it’s the user that must be at the core of the flow, design, and experience of a program.
Weave Customer Driven UX Design into Your App
Need help in launching a customer discovery program to develop consumer personas and power your UX design? Contact Technology Rivers today to learn how you can set your application up for success.