Using personas in product development can help your product teams focus on the needs and wants of their target or preferred type of customer.
This guide to using personas in product development covers all the essentials you need to know, including:
Table of Contents
- What is a Persona?
- What Are Personas Used For?
- How Are Personas Usually Developed?
- What Information is Important When Using Personas in Product Development?
- How Do You Come Up With Personas in Product Development?
- What Are Best Practices for Customer Interviews for Persona Development?
- What Challenges Are Associated With Creating Personas?
- How Many Personas Should You Use in Product Development?
- How Can You Find Potential Customers to Survey for Personas?
- What Are Common Customer Research Agencies?
- What Type of Services Do Customer Research Agencies Provide?
- Which Smaller Customer Research Agencies Use Software to Conduct Research?
- What Resources Are Used to Validate Personas?
- How Do You Test a User Persona?
- Do Personas Help Create Better User Experiences?
- More Resources on Using Personas in Product Development:
What is a Persona?
A persona is a fictional representation of a typical customer type. Personas are based on real data and research about specific target audiences and which products they prefer to use.
What Are Personas Used For?
Personas help product managers and product development teams understand what drives a customer to make a purchase. Personas record the projected or expected behavioral traits of a specific type of user.
When developing personas, it’s important to keep in mind that they should be as detailed as possible, taking into account a variety of factors such as demographics, values and motivations, challenges and goals.
How Are Personas Usually Developed?
The process for creating personas typically begins with market research or surveys. This involves gathering data from current customers or potential customers by asking questions about their behavior, preferences, and attitudes.
After the initial survey has been completed, the team can then begin to analyze the data and look for patterns or commonalities between respondents. This process will help identify potential customer segments or types, which can then be used to create personas.
Once a few personas have been created, the product team can begin to think about how they would design an ideal experience for each one of them. This involves looking at how their needs and wants are best met by the product or service being developed, as well as any potential pain points that need to be addressed. By understanding their customers’ perspectives, product teams can create more effective solutions that better meet the needs of their target audience.
Finally, after all of the research and persona development has been completed, it’s important for product teams to continue testing and validating their assumptions with customers. This can be done through A/B testing, surveys, and interviews with real users. Doing so will help ensure that the product or service being developed is actually meeting the needs of its intended audience.
Overall, developing personas for product development is a key step in understanding customer behavior and creating impactful solutions that are tailored to their needs. By taking the time to research and create detailed personas, product teams can make sure they’re providing the best possible experience for their customers.
Additionally, by continuing to test and validate their assumptions with customers, they’ll have greater confidence in the success of their product in the market.
What Information is Important When Using Personas in Product Development?
A user persona for product development typically contains information on the customer’s demographic and psychographic data, such as age, gender, profession, salary range, values, and lifestyle. It also includes details about their goals and motivations when using the product or service, as well as any potential challenges they might encounter while using it.
Additionally, a user persona often contains qualitative insights into how customers think and feel about the product or service being developed. This can be done by including quotes from consumers who have used the product in the past or by conducting interviews with target customers.
Finally, personas should also include suggestions on how to design the ideal experience for that particular customer segment based on their needs and wants. By taking all of this into account, product teams can ensure that their products are designed with the customer in mind.
How Do You Come Up With Personas in Product Development?
Creating personas for product development typically involves conducting market research or surveys to collect data from existing and potential customers. This helps the team identify customer segments or types that are similar in terms of their motivations, values and challenges. Once these have been identified, the team can then begin creating personas for each customer type. This is done by gathering additional information about them through interviews, focus groups or surveys.
It’s important to validate the accuracy of the personas by testing and validating assumptions with real users. By taking all of this into account, product teams can create effective solutions that meet the needs of their target audience.
What Are Best Practices for Customer Interviews for Persona Development?
When conducting customer interviews for persona development, it’s important to:
- have a clear goal in mind and
- ensure that the insights gathered are relevant to the product or service being developed.
Additionally, it’s important to ask open-ended questions that encourage customers to share their opinions and experiences. Make sure the responses given provide context around their answers.
Lastly, it’s vital to ensure that all of the information gathered is consistent throughout the interview process so that team can draw accurate conclusions from the data. By taking these best practices into account, product teams can gather more valuable insights that will help inform their persona development efforts.
What Challenges Are Associated With Creating Personas?
One of the main challenges associated with creating personas is ensuring that the data gathered from customer interviews, surveys, and focus groups is accurate and relevant to the product or service being developed. Accurately capturing all of the insights gathered into a cohesive persona can be difficult and must be taken into account.
Validating assumptions with real users can be time consuming and costly. It is difficult to test every assumption made during persona development. When you consider these challenges and use best practices to creating personas, product teams can ensure they create solutions that meet their customers’ needs.
How Many Personas Should You Use in Product Development?
The number of personas used in product development depends on the size and complexity of the product or service. Generally speaking, it’s best to start with 2-3 personas so you don’t get bogged down in the details. However, a larger or more complex project may need up to 5 personas to adequately represent all customer segments.
It must be noted that too many personas can lead to information overload. On the other hand, too few can limit a team’s ability to create effective solutions for their customers. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual product team to decide how many personas they need based on their specific project.
How Can You Find Potential Customers to Survey for Personas?
Finding potential customers to survey for personas is done through a variety of methods. One way is to use online forums or social media platforms. Here, people regularly discuss topics related to the product or service being developed. This allows product teams to get direct feedback from users in real time and start creating meaningful conversations with them.
Additionally, customer research agencies are also able to provide more detailed insights into target audiences. They have access to large databases of people who have already expressed interest in similar products and services. This means they can quickly identify the right people to survey for personas.
Companies can also use their own internal data sources such as customer satisfaction surveys or sales records.
What Are Common Customer Research Agencies?
Some of the most common customer research agencies include Nielsen, Ipsos, GfK, and Forrester. These agencies have been in the market research industry for decades and are highly respected in their field.
What Type of Services Do Customer Research Agencies Provide?
Customer research agencies offer a wide range of services including primary and secondary data collection methods such as:
- focus groups
- and observational studies
Customer research agencies also provide analyses and insights into target audiences. This helps product teams create effective solutions that meet their customers’ needs.
By taking all of this into account, product teams can:
- understand how to develop personas for product development
- which customer research agencies can be used to find potential customers to survey for them
- and ensure that their products are designed with their target audience in mind.
Which Smaller Customer Research Agencies Use Software to Conduct Research?
In addition to the larger customer research agencies mentioned above, there are also a number of smaller companies that specialize in using software for customer research and insight. These include Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, and UserTesting.com. They provide similar services as the larger agencies but their focus is primarily on collecting data quickly and accurately through surveys or other online methods.
Additionally, these companies often offer analytical tools that help teams get insights into target audiences and make informed decisions about product development. By combining the larger research agency’s expertise with the speed and accuracy of software-based customer research, product teams can create successful products that meet customers’ needs.
What Resources Are Used to Validate Personas?
Once personas have been created, it’s important to validate them. Validation ensures that they are accurate and up-to-date. This can be done through a variety of resources, including:
- customer feedback surveys
- interviews with customers and industry experts
- focus groups
- and observational studies.
Additionally, product teams can also use analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Mixpanel to get insights into user behavior. By leveraging these resources, teams can validate their personas and get a better understanding of how users interact with their products.
How Do You Test a User Persona?
Testing a user persona typically involves running A/B tests to test different experiences for the persona, then validating the assumptions made during its creation. This is done by creating a survey to capture feedback from users. Another way is to runn an experiment where users are asked to complete tasks using the product or service being developed.
Additionally, interviews with actual customers can also provide valuable insights into how they think and feel about using the product. By testing their assumptions with real people, product teams can ensure that their solutions meet the needs of their target audience.
Do Personas Help Create Better User Experiences?
Yes, personas can be extremely helpful for creating better user experiences. By understanding who their target customers are and what they need from the product or service being developed, product teams can design solutions that more effectively meet customer expectations.
Additionally, personas provide valuable insights into how customers think and feel about the product or service being developed. This allows product teams to identify potential pain points early on in the development process.
Ultimately, by utilizing personas as part of their design process, product teams can make sure they’re providing a high-quality experience that meets the needs of their target audience.
More Resources on Using Personas in Product Development:
For additional information and support, we suggest using these links as a further guide to using personas in product development:
Patagonia’s advertising and catalogs execute on one critical through-on: They’re always presenting activities and scenarios their customers would love to be in. Watch my walk-through on how to target your customers’ aspirations the Patagonia way:
Catch the Builders.Build podcast with my best friends, Colin and James, to discover more about our individual TikTok perspectives and entrepreneurial journeys across brands, products, websites, and more.
Thank you for reading this guide to using personas in product development!
If you found this content insightful and helpful, please be sure to like and share this article with your circle. Also, make sure to subscribe to the newsletter for more product development tips!
There’s never been a better time to start your own brand than right now. Browse the Product World library for more guides, expert tips, resources, factory links, and brand insight now.
FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Be sure to share your thoughts and ideas with me everywhere you see my personal brand displayed: @OrenMeetsWorld. You’ll find 5,000+ links to my creator content on:
NEWSLETTERS YOU SHOULD BE READING
Join thousands of happy readers already on my Product People newsletter when you subscribe. I’d be excited to have you in the community!