Which One Of These SMB Personas Do You Most Resemble?

In many ways, Chris Green and Colin Wilcox are typical IT staffers, who just happened to have helped Microsoft design Windows Server 2008. But their real claim to fame is that they're not real people.

Fredric Paul, Contributor

January 26, 2010

1 Min Read

How To Use Personas In Your Own Business

Creating and using create personas in your own business doesn't have to be difficult. There are no hard and fast rules, but but you might want to keep these principles in mind:

Personas Are:

  • Fake people (concrete representations) based on real data

  • A practical tool to help prioritize features & maintain focus on target customers

  • A vehicle for bringing customer data alive

Personas Are Not:

  • Every possible customer (or a customer segmentation)

  • A replacement for existing design processes

What Personas Do:

  • Personas organize disparate data points and aid memory of user facts

  • Personas help keep focus on key customers and scenarios

Persona Best Practices:

  • Design for just one person – the fewer personas the better

  • Understand and speak to the user’s goals (not just their tasks)

  • Prioritize for “Daily Use” & “Necessary Use” Scenarios - not “Edge Case” Scenarios

  • Use narratives and storytelling to make the personas as "real" as possible

  • Make the persona's links to to your customer data explicit

  • Use personas as enhancements to existing design processes, not replacements

Personas Can Include Many Elements:

  • Overview

  • A Day in the Life

  • Work and Household & Leisure Activities

  • Goals, Fears, Aspirations

  • Computer Skills, Knowledge, & Abilities

  • Market Size and Influence

  • Demographics

  • Technology Attributes and Attitudes

  • International Considerations

  • Quotes

  • References

Personas Are Not New: Similar concepts often called User Archetypes, Scenario Characters, Use Cases, User Profiles, Target Customer Characterizations

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