Do you want to put your customer first during the development of your new website? Make sure to spend time on some well-built personas! Very often the end users of your website are lost out of sight and put on second place. It’s never about what YOU think is right, but in first place it’s about WHO visits your website and how you can adapt according to their wishes, needs and expectations. Of course, at first you’ll have to find out who those visitors are!
Who are the key users of your website? Which users would you like to reach? Does it concern a young group under 25? Of can we also expect some middle-aged women? Are they interested in the latest news bulletin or do they swear by the well-known YouTube channel?
Try to collect as much info as possible about your end users by doing some thorough user research; and of course by asking questions and observing them. How do they experience your website? And what will they do when searching for a specific answer?
Now divide all potential users into separate groups, each group has its specific properties. These groups are your target groups. Decide for each group which personas you would like to create and work on them in the next stage.
In this stage it’s important to give your personas their own identity. Add their names, age, gender and other profile characteristics; but also keep their character, behaviour and relation to your website in mind.
What will your persona expect, and what has to be avoided? What’s his/her relationship to your product or website? And when will you lose your touch with your persona?
Personas are not only important at the start of your project; but can also be helpful in a later stage when taking decisions concerning functionality and design. They will be the base of a user-centred design adapted to everyone’s needs. In the end you will have a clear image of your key users; and they will be the focal point of attention from now on!
Gwen Van Campenhout | 4 October 2016