The idea behind a persona is to use an actual user of your site (not made up). This allows us to draw insights on their behaviours, and consider how they would interact with the site and what issues they may face. Developing personae ensures that we do not make decisions that we think are correct, but rather decisions that we can prove make sense - these decisions are then supported by user testing once the site is live.
A Strategist Persona
The persona below illustrates Alia, a strategist in the Quirk Think team. We have observed her as an individual, what devices she uses, what you would typically find in her handbag, as well as her online behaviour. We can now use this to better understand what it takes to be a strategist and actually how wacky and wonderful they really are:
So, from personal needs, motivators and even what they do in their spare time, to the tools they use every day when making their living, the persona is there to lend infinitely candid and valuable insight into the thinking of a user. To a user experience (UX) person, this information is the key. With it, we can build toward planning a site that better serves a given user, and in turn, will better serve the machinations and the intentions of a company or brand.
These personae are there to effectively project the likeness of a given individual accessing and engaging with a site. They then serve to maintain that likeness in the minds of the UX planner, and in doing so, act as a blue print that needs to be constantly referred back to, in order to deliver optimum site experience. All this is done with the view to enhancing usability on a website and in doing so, making that site better at ultimately converting.
Are you into user behaviour online? What are some of your thoughts on how to make a site work better for a brand?