By creating fictional characters or personas, you can divide your users into different categories. This may sound like a difficult task, but utilizing the right techniques and tools will make this job easier. Furthermore, developing a character based on your customers does not require much effort or money. To visualize your users, you need huge and complex data. You can generate the data through in-depth interviews and specialized tools. However, you can also have enough idea about your audience by asking them simple questions. Once you develop personas with the help of UX research, you can design your website accordingly. Below, you will find the process to develop accurate personas for your project:
1. Data collection
Persona development requires abundant knowledge about your users. Therefore, you should start by acquiring data from actual users. You can also refer to this phase as the Empathize phase.
After the Empathize phase, you will have enough data to create a general idea about your users. Start by creating a map by finding features in which one user is different than the other. Tools such as Empathy Maps and Affinity Diagrams will help you generate better user maps.
3. Analysis of the hypothesis
You can approve or reject your hypothesis by comparing the current map with the previous data. Gather up your team and discuss the relevancy of the hypothesis.
4. Numbers of persona
Decide the number of personas you require. Every product should include more than one
persona. However, setting up a single persona will also work. You will use the hypothesis to find the real number of persona you want to develop.
5. Describing the persona
Your persona should lead you to develop your services and product. Therefore, it is essential to understanding your users and their needs. You need to be expressive about describing your persona. Ensure that each persona is different than the last.
To describe your persona, you should add details such as their lifestyle, education, values, interests, goals, desires, and pattern of behavior. You can also add names to your personas and include personal information to make them a realistic character.
6. Create situations
After creating your persona, create different scenarios for them and try to understand how they will react. Therefore, you can provide solutions depending on their roles and what type of solution they require. In other words, you can place them in different scenarios with problems and what solution they require to solve that problem.
7. Update your personas
Adjust your personas as you receive new information. Sometimes, it would be necessary to completely remove a persona and make a new one. Also, you can divide the qualities of a single persona and divide them into two different ones. So updating your persona is an ongoing process.
Through personas, you can make your users come alive. You can start the process of persona development through user research. Collecting accurate data from your actual users will lead the way. However, it is essential to maintain the balance between the data you collect and the fictional details you include in your characters. The above steps will help you develop personas through UX research.