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User Profiles and Personas

Knowing your users, their needs, and challenges is important to delivering the right solution. User profiles and personas help describe your users' characteristics in a structured, meaningful and more actionable manner.

What are user profiles and personas?

User profiles are a great tool for capturing and specifying the characteristics of key user groups for your product.
Most user profiles touch upon:

  • Demographic profile (Age, physical attributes, family and friends)
  • Psychographic profile (attitudes, beliefs and opinions)
  • Professional profile (education, work experience)
  • Environment / context profile ( Physical)
  • Usage/Task profile

Persona is a design tool that defines a specific user profile with relevant characteristics, attached with a name and photo/image. There can be more than one persona for a user profile. Persona is not a stereotype of the typical user, rather an indicative representation of a user profile.

More on personas

Why User Profiles and Personas

User profiles help the stakeholders, client and team get closer to the users and usage scenarios. They help teams with the rationale to take their decisions on, related to product's design, features and functionality.
Personas are a key step in the product engineering process and help create scenarios and tasks. They also facilitate stakeholders and development team to relate easily with users and validate the product's features.

How do we create user profiles and personas

  • Understand the customers and users from primary and secondary sources of data
  • Identify the primary user groups with help from key stakeholders and team
  • Define the user profiles for the primary groups
  • Use the profiles to create screeners and personas
  • Validate these profiles and personas from the user studies
  • Refine them over the life cycle of the product, based on user studies and tests

When are the user profiles and personas created

User profiles and personas are usually created during the initial stages of the product development. However, they need to be revisited and refined periodically to ensure that the product is aligned to the ever-changing needs, challenges and usage behaviors of users.