A persona is a representation of a fictitious user that includes a concise summary of characteristics of the user, their experience, goals and tasks, pain points, and environmental conditions. Personas describe the target users of a tool, site, product or application, giving a clear picture of how they're likely to use the system, and what they’ll expect from it.
By designing an interface to meet the needs of specific personas, the needs of wider groups of users with similar goals are met.
Also known as user profiles, user role definitions, audience profiles.
Personas tell stories about users so that people in the organization can understand the user and what the user wants. Personas are archetypal users that act as 'stand-ins' for real users and help guide decisions about site aims, functionality and design.
Each persona represents one particular user group, and is created after rigorously analyzing and categorizing data from user research. Each persona is an amalgam of the common traits of multiple actual people making up a specific user group.
Personas provide powerful (yet quick and simple) guidance for making strategic and planning decisions. They capture the most important information about each user group, typically including:
Additional information may be captured and reflected in a user persona based on the specific needs of the design and development teams.
Personas are usually created at the start of a development, or redevelopment process. With user groups identified at the beginning, the design team can gather requirements and conduct design activities around those groups.
Sources and contributors:Jennifer Carey