Target Audience Personas

Target Audience Personas Guide the design of the site architecture, as well as the creative approach and execution. A persona represents a group of target audience members who visit a site and identifies their interests and abilities.
Answers the following questions:

  • Exactly who visits the client's site?
  • What are the interests, capabilities, and limitations of the Target Audience?
  • What are the personality profiles of the different audiences?
 
Provides the following benefits:

  • Ensures a clear understanding of who we are “talking to” via the site.
  • Ensures the focus of the navigation, structure, labeling, and creative treatment is on target throughout the project.
Examples:

  1. Target Audience Personas (PDF)
  2. Target Audience Personas (WORD)

Personas are abstractions of actual users, they should be developed based on actual data found in user research. To introduce personas to a project team, print them out and post them around the office. Bring personas to meetings to make more informed development decisions that will affect the user experience. For example, you may want to know, “Which area of the website would Chris, an Early Adopter, explore first before deciding to make a purchase?” During a meeting, attendees may role-play the various personas to ensure that the website will be designed to meet their needs and preferences according to their persona descriptions. Furthermore, to encourage project team members to maintain their focus on the intended audience of personas outside of meetings, create email addresses for each persona and assign team members to assume the role of each persona. When a stakeholder or project member has a design decision to make, he can send an email to the personas, who will respond to their question from the perspective of their needs and preferences.

  1. Name: This is usually a real name, like “Bob” or “Lisa,” and may include the role of the individual as well. Roles should communicate something about the user’s perspective or motives. Examples of roles are, “Early Adopter,” “Conservative Shopper,” “Worrier,” “Care-giver,” “Parent,” and so on. Include a photograph that represents the individual’s general character to create a more vivid and realistic example for project stakeholders.
  2. Motivations, Needs, and Preferences: Based on user research, each persona’s motivations, needs, and preferences should be expressed in a concise statement, such as, “John wants to compare mobile phones and calling plans to sign up for new cellular service. He is particularly interested in finding a phone that will support worldwide travel, without expensive roaming fees.”
  3. Scenarios: Personas help project members better understand the personalities of a system’s intended users by describing a potential task or goal that the system will support in terms of how a person will react to it. For instance, a “Worrier” may be hesitant to complete a shopping purchase, fearing that his credit card information will not be secure. A parent may wish to control the experience of her young child while he explores a video gaming website that advertises violent games.