Why User Personas Matter in UX Design

August 22, 2022

Good UX design enables businesses to attract customers to their products and services. According to one study, a well-designed user interface can increase a product’s sales by up to 200 percent, while an outstanding UX design can increase sales by 400 percent. Users have come to expect a positive user experience, so this is now a requirement for all applications.

Organizations can benefit from creating user personas. A user persona is a fictitious character who interacts with your company and its products or services. You can define the personal characteristics of basic personas, including their demographics. More advanced personas can be behavioral, goal-based, or both, for design and marketing. Actual users should be able to identify with the personas you’ve created to ensure they have a positive experience on your Web site or in your app. Consumer demands can aid system design by helping you to determine how a product can meet the normal standards of consumers belonging to diverse fields, age groups, and places. Creating personas can be an excellent way of collecting data and attaining this goal.

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A Glimpse into Personas

Personas are imaginary characters that you’ve created based on your user research to represent different types of people who might use a company’s services, products, or Web sites. Personas could help you better understand users’ needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals. Personas might enable you to venture outside your comfort zone. They might enable your team to recognize that different people have different needs and wants, as well as help them identify with the people for whom you’re creating a product.

What Is a User Persona?

The user persona was developed in the 1990s as a method for gaining important insights into a product’s target market and users’ behaviors and expectations. UX design teams and marketing departments worldwide still use them. User personas are representations of an app or Web site’s various user groups. UX designers and product teams use them to help them create the best possible user experience. The personas they create should represent the types of people that would most likely utilize an app or Web site.

How Does a User Persona Work?

UX designers must figure out who the users are for the product they’re planning to design to ensure that the ultimate product attracts customers and is useful to them as well. User personas make the users more real—genuine people who the team can imagine and know. To keep your product on track, post user personas on the office wall or notice board, add them to your UX research tools, or distribute them to your colleagues as PDFs or PowerPoint files, so they can refer to them as they’re designing new features. User personas turn your users into real, living, breathing human beings with unique thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Each persona represents a group of users who have similar attributes and intentions. The personas’ goals should influence the optimal design patterns for your Web site or app to ensure it provides the best user experience. Their characteristics also impact how you’ll resolve certain design challenges. Even when making modest improvements, being on the same page as the user can help UX designers make the right design changes and avoid user backlash. In enterprise-software design, user personas can provide critical insights for developing seamless user journeys that many firms have overlooked in favor of considering costs.

How Do UX Design and UI Design Differ?

UI design refers to determining how a digital product looks and feels. It’s about visual elements such as icons, typefaces, color schemes, pictures, and the look of interactive features. UX design refers to the user’s holistic experience when interacting with an organization and its products. Its main goal is to help people efficiently achieve their objectives. User personas are useful in both types of design.

How Can User Personas Can Help Improve Your Designs?

Instead of designing and attempting to construct complex software that caters to every user on earth, businesses should focus on identifying the people who would want to use a software product from the beginning, then tailoring the software to them. For a limited target population, depending on how much UX research a company has already done, additional studies may no longer be necessary. Instead, the company should construct user personas that represent the app’s target audiences, combining the primary groupings of potential users—for example, if you’re designing a fitness app, your target audiences might be

  • users who a strictly follow a weekly budget or plan
  • users who are interested in fitness and health

These user personas would probably be looking for products that would be simpler to use, help to them to live healthy lives, and that are economical—products that have fun designs and that they could take to work. For example, an over-the-top (OTT) media platform could analyze its customer database, their patterns of behavior, and their viewing habits, using Big Data to improve the user experience. This is not to say that businesses must understand Big Data to create user personas, but it emphasizes the importance of focusing on your customers’ actual interests and basing your personas on facts and actual data rather than preconceptions.

Why Are User Personas Important in Design?

Creating user personas is fundamental to UX design overhaul projects. Businesses that redesign their app or Web site without first developing user personas are risking their investment. They must be aware of the most typical paths a Web site’s visitors take. The simplest approach to obtaining this information is to design goal-based personas. For instance, a heatmap of a business’s Web-site traffic might reveal that the most popular tab on their product or service pages is the Features tab. When a business commissions a redesign, the site’s functionality must be preserved, enabling consumers to quickly get the information they need. If businesses make it easy for customers to find what they want, they are more likely to stay.

In agile design, user personas are essential. Agile design is an ongoing process that enables organizations to improve their products or services in response to customer feedback. To design or update useful features, you must first identify the characteristics and behavioral patterns of their target audience.

What Can Businesses Do with User Personas?

The most basic use of a set of personas is as a communication tool when pitching ideas to your product team and other project stakeholders. A UX designer might use a persona as a guide and inspiration while producing a product for a specific audience. UX designers can readily imagine what a product should do and how it would serve the target users because they have rich information about their emotional and mental states and their preferences and goals in the form of user personas. A company can use personas to gather valuable information and stay current with its customers’ lifestyles.

Wrapping Up

The future for UX designers is bright, and UX design presents great opportunities for businesses that are improving their product designs to attract customers across the globe. Despite the availability of many research methods and means of expressing user data, the user persona remains a useful artifact and a reliable tool to help designers and marketers understand products and their users. The details of personas often provide more extensive facts about specific customers. When a company has access to a diverse group of users, seeing the connections among them and the personas that represent them becomes a critical factor. Using personas can add more value to your enterprise and, thus, generate more revenue. 

Founder & CEO of W2S Solutions

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Madhu KesavanAt W2S Solutions, a globally recognized software-development company, Madhu empowers enterprises and governments in their digital journey. With more than 20 years in the IT industry, he leverages technology to create his vision for a sustainable future.  Read More

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