We can fall back on existing data or at best start an individual, persona-specific survey taking into account the important questions. Suitable methods for this are: Onsite surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews or user observations on site. For the formation of personas with data from a quantitative survey, several segments are identified using cluster analysis methods and previously defined active variables, which are as different as possible from one another. These segments are the basis for the following description of the personas - all collected data is used and tabular user profiles are created. Usually 3-6 clusters of different sizes are created, which may already reflect the importance of the respective personas from your point of view. However, it may well be that a small segment is particularly important for the company's success, because, for example, a significant part of the turnover is generated by them. This is not limited to a tabular list of characteristics: Through photos and naming the personas get their own identity including curriculum vitae and picture and are thus brought to life. A typical statement completes the profile. The persona descriptions are coordinated individually in each project and range from Powerpoint charts to sedcards that are distributed to all employees, or life-size displays or collages that are always present in your rooms for the employees.
Your benefit when using personas:
- They help the team to put itself in the position of potential users and to maintain this perspective throughout the entire design and development process.
- Users become "tangible" for the development team and there is a uniform understanding. The team designs and programs for typical representatives of the entire user community. 3-6 personas are usually sufficient.
- The value of (potential) functions, services and content can be better evaluated (Does Olivia like this feature? Does this extension help Peggy to do her job?).
- Decisions on the use of financial and human resources are not based on (purely) subjective assessments, but on data obtained.
- For follow-up studies - for example user tests in the lab - representative test subjects can be selected on the basis of Persona profiles.