A Persona is a fictional person created by business people to help them to identify their ideal client or customer. Personas can be useful for software designers and testers too, helping them understand their audience better when designing features and experiences by tailored them to a specific type of person. If you are new to the topic of Personas, you might like to read Persona Development ahead of this post for an introduction to the practice.
There is no ‘correct’ way to create a Persona, and methods vary between industries and projects, but the common goal is to discover and define the most relevant information relating to your target audience, as an attempt to preempt the requirements, needs, and struggles of the person you are creating your digital product for. You can create your own Persona template from scratch using pen and paper, which can be a fun exercise to get your team engaged and firing on all cylinders. However, there are some ready-made, tried-and-tested tools and templates available to help you create them quickly. In no particular order, here are a few:
Below are a small selection of tools and templates that you might find useful when creating Personas.
Tools for creating Personas
Userforge is a collaborative tool that has a user-friendly interface, making it easy to quickly create Personas. The auto populate feature is a good time saving tool, and the image library is useful for putting a relatable face to your Personas.
Up Close and Persona
This online tool allows you to create a Persona in your browser by answering a few step-by-step questions. The sample Persona is also a handy guide to use as a reference when creating your own Persona.
Uxpressia is a collaborative tool that lets you create your Persona using their visual interface. The sliders are a nice way of visualising your Persona’s skill levels and personality types.
Templates for creating Personas
Xtension is known for providing quality, editable templates, ranging from landing pages to meeting agendas. They have a range of downloadable templates, and their Persona development tool is a high quality editable template that gives you the framework to create professional-looking Personas.
Hubspot have created a freebie that quickly generates a basic Persona Word document template based on the seventeen answers your provide when completing the form. One thing to note: the Persona photograph provided is copyrighted, which means you cannot use your Persona in any public facing marketing or materials.
Fake Crow offer a few blank templates to help with building your Personas. They have downloadable PNGs to print off and complete, and an editable file that you can populate yourself for a professional looking Persona that you can present to your team.
The Next Steps
Once you have crafted your ideal customer or product user, you will be in a much better position to answer questions that can help shape the experience you create. By having a clear and relatable Persona that your team can refer to during the development and software testing phases of your product, you will already know if a feature could benefit your audience and whether or not it will help them to achieve their goal.