When conducting Market or User Experience research, nothing is more important to the quality of your results than talking to the right people. This is why coming up with a persona that is representative of your target audience is a vital part of a successful research project. Before getting into how you create a quality persona, let’s start with what a persona actually is. Depending on the industry you’re from, the answer to this question may vary slightly. When it comes to research, a persona is the collection of demographic features that you are selecting for in your participants. This can be something as simple as their age or location to much more complex qualities like their level of experience with your product.
There are many things to take into consideration when it comes to creating your persona. One of the best ways to start this process is by thinking about what you would like to gain from your research. Thinking about the final product is an excellent way to inform the decisions made during the beginning stages of the research process. If you are looking into the first impression your website gives off, you will want to recruit people unfamiliar with your product or company. On the other hand, if you are a company that builds software for web designers, and want feedback on your products, it is important to recruit individuals who are very familiar with your products and services.
Here are some additional items to consider:
- Age group (8-24, 25-29, etc.)
- Gender (Male, Female, etc.)
- Socioeconomic status ($30,000-$49,999, $50,000-$69,999, etc.)
- Industry (Financial, Healthcare, etc.)
- Geographical Location (Country, State, etc.)
- Participants role within their organization (Decision maker, influencer, etc.)
- Political Background (Republican, Democrat, etc.)
- Education Level (Some college, Bachelor’s Degree, etc.)
While this is not an exhaustive list of qualities and not all items on this list will be necessary for every research study, it is a great starting point. Additionally, items on this list may spur other ideas that will help you create a fuller persona, ultimately leading to more successful research.
If you are interested in conducting some research of your own but don’t know where to start, visit Discida. We work with a variety of industries to complete a wide range of research projects, all focused on helping our clients and their products perform better for their customers.
Bailey Moulden contributed to this article.