Improve Your Website’s User Experience with This Valuable Activity
User personas play an important role in connecting your business to your customers, helping solve one of the biggest daily challenges you face when doing your business online.
Personas are a key exercise to ensuring what you’re putting out there is meeting the needs of what your customers want.
What Is a User Persona?
First, let’s talk about what a Persona is and where they come from. By way of simple explanation, a persona is a character profile you create for purposes of understanding your customers. They offer tremendous value for improving the User Experience of your website.
Personas are composite studies of your customers’ goals, traits, and behaviors. While they’re designed to be largely fictitious in nature, they’re heavily informed by user research, observations, web analytics, customer support logs, and other data collection methods.
How to Create User Personas
Using relevant research serves as the backbone of Persona development so you can ensure you’re centering your work around the goals of your business and your customers. Have in mind what types of questions you want answered as you move into the Persona steps.
Your three keys steps:
- Gather data: field interviews of real-life customers are most powerful, but if you’re short on time or resources you can lean on quantitative data like surveys and traffic analysis
- Summarize findings: identify patterns and commonalities behind your findings to create “buckets” of similar characteristics
- Create profiles: build your Personas around these buckets with an emphasis on their behavioral patterns, be sure to focus on elements pertaining to your collective goals
Typically, a User Persona will include the following characteristics: Name, Age, Location, Marital Status, Job, Skills, Goals, Frustrations, and a Quote or Statement from their voice and perspective.
The types of information you choose to feature in your Personas will vary and should only reflect the data that is vital to your needs. Furthermore, you can expand on the details of the above characteristics only as they serve you. Many examples are easily found online through a casual Google search of User Persona Examples.
How Personas Improve Your User Experience
User Personas are a key tool for helping businesses gain a deeper understanding of the people they serve. Namely, they decide “Who are we doing this for?” Who they are, What are their wants, needs, and pain points. The Persona is a key to gaining empathy toward your website visitors, which can help guide your decisions toward improvements.
Here are a few important questions Personas will answer for you:
Am I answering the right questions?
Personas are extremely helpful in uncovering user pain points. People go online to find knowledge, products, and services that will help make their lives better, yet so many get lost in the sea of online clutter. User Personas help you pinpoint what the specific needs of your customers are, and allow you to answer questions and satisfy their primary needs.
Am I putting the right content on my website’s Home Page?
Seconds count and you have such a limited time to gain a user’s attention before they go back to Google and visit a competitor’s web page. Determine the key questions your users have and you can design an experience around the most important content.
Do I have the right type of navigation?
This is such an important part of user experience, but so many get their navigations wrong. Through your Persona development you can uncover some common user behaviors. Do they use mobile or desktop? Do they frequent websites with more contemporary UX features or would a simplified layout work better? Will several menu choices be overwhelming? You can improve your odds of keeping your visitors when you cater to their UX needs.
Is my business being positioned correctly?
Personas can help you frame your messaging and address the needs of your customers. Learning the specific goals and personality characteristics may change the way you talk about what you do. Are you focusing on the right benefits? Do you have the right products being showcased, or are they really looking for something else you offer? Personas can guide these questions, and maybe answer ones you may not have previously considered.
What design choices will keep visitors coming back?
It’s vital that you present your business in the most favorable light. This can include everything from your website’s look and feel, the colors you employ, font choices, and the images you use to represent you. Personas can provide validation toward your design choices.
User Personas are fictional customer profiles you create through research and observation of your key customers. They’re an important tool for improving your website experience because they allow you to deepen your understanding of your customers, their needs and pain points, and how they behave online.
How does your website stack up? Contact Liquid and let our Experience Design team assess whether User Personas can help you better define how you meet your audience’s needs.