Editors Note: This Persona Template is one in a series of templates to help readers plan and manage communications and content management activities, resources and deliverables. We welcome ideas and suggestions for other TechWhirl Templates Library materials.
Personas contain textual and graphical representations of an archetypal customer or user. A persona, based on data and/or secondary research, assembles demographic, psychographic, environmental, and behavioral data into realistic profile that can provide insight into development of products and marketing messages, or design of products and creation of content that supports users in their goals.
Organizations use marketing and design personas as they define the customer experience (marketing) and the user experience (product design and user support) to achieve marketing and product management goals, including those related to sales and customer satisfaction.
As companies grapple with building and maintaining brand, and achieving sales and customer satisfaction objectives, they need to understand the key segments of their current and prospective customer bases. They user a persona template to collect the data and formulate a picture of a real customer or user to drive their design or messaging decisions. According to an article by Eeva Ilama on UXBooth, companies use marketing personas to evaluate the potential ROI of a product and the motivations and habits of customers to determine the most effective messaging targeted to those customers. Marketing personas rely on sales and marketing data covering a range of customers to more generally define behavior and messaging.
Design personas focus on users’ goals, behaviors and pain points to determine how a product should work to address users’ needs. Whenever possible, design personas focus on actual users, what they want to do, and how they try to do it. Where budgets prevent the resources required to do in-depth research on actual users, companies often use a “proto-persona” that rely on general data and team member insights to understand how to design user interactions with the product.
This Persona Template can serve as the basis for both marketing and design personas by combining as much research-based and data-based information as possible to inform both customer experience and user experience design. Content professionals, including strategists and developers, can use both the marketing and the design persona to develop potentially reusable content that spans the customer lifecycle in increasingly interactive ways.
Using the Template:
- Collect and analyze data from available resources.
- Look for recurring themes and patterns to begin developing broad categories, or archetypes that represent specific customer segments or user groups.
- Download the Persona Template Word (.docx) file and save to a local location.
- Conduct one or more brainstorming sessions to generate a persona to represent each archetype.
- Collect the information from research and brainstorming into a template file for each persona.
- Give the archetype a realistic name, and replace the avatars with actual or stock photos of people who closely represent the archetype.
- Obtain feedback from key stakeholders on the personas that have been created, and revise as needed.
- Consult the personas as product requirements, use cases, and designs are built, and as marketing and content strategies are developed and implemented.
Do you have other user guide templates that work well for the products you are documenting? Are you in an Agile development environment and have tools for creating user assistance that aligns with Sprints? Feel free to contact us and submit your templates. We’ll provide credit to you for assisting the TechWhirl community and contributing to Template Tuesdays.