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User Personas for Product Development

Product Development User Personas

When working on the Product Development Cycle, one of the most important elements to include is a figure capable of representing the human approach before your product performance. At this moment, the creation of the User Personas as a primordial element comes into view. The final goal is creating an experience that converges between humans and technology, correctly contemplating fluid features.

Remember, as a designer, you are designing as a human for humans. Hence, you should consider User Persona as a prototype with multiple options and implement it to get the end user's tastes, desires, behaviors, and expectations. Suppose you pretend and desire to create a successful product vision with a seamless, personalized experience.

In that case, you must have a deep knowledge of the actual users for whom you aimed the product before starting your product's concept development and design process. In this opportunity, we start with the basic concepts, general features, where/when to use a User Persona, and how to design it to improve the Product Development Process. 

What is a User Persona?

A User Persona profile is a blank canvas where you can add different features according to the product idea. This user type is a fictional character representing the future product's final customer base, and its creation process lies in a mix of numerous data-collecting within multiple research, user interviews, and studies of the group of people. In a few words, this figure represents a hypothetical archetype of potential users. 

Generally, a User Persona contemplates a person's image, a fictional name, and wide descriptions. It includes other data such as behavior patterns, goals, attitudes, abilities, general data, and the environment where the user executes their actions. Designers usually tend to add more details to the user profile to make the description more attractive and interesting, giving it a more realistic sense. The main idea is to create a complete and detailed user profile to help designers understand the users' needs and, most importantly, to encompass these needs through product success correctly. 

While a variety of ready-to-use User Persona templates are available and can serve as a solid starting point, it’s essential to recognize that no one-size-fits-all template exists. Each viable product and target market has unique characteristics that must be present in the personas you develop. Therefore, these templates should be like flexible frameworks that guide the inclusion of relevant information rather than rigid structures.

Let’s see the principal elements you must include in your template. 

1. Persona Group. Creating a User Persona group allows you to identify pain points in detail. Although your product can solve a problem in a specific niche, your users can still group into different niches. Let's say you aim to design an app dedicated to video calls and conferences. In a hypothetical context and only mentioning some uses, we can mention students who see their classes and professionals who communicate with their work team. Therefore, there are two types of users: students talking with instructors and professionals discussing business projects. It’s critical contemplating multiple user niches, regardless of whether the user focuses on a market strategy (B2B or B2C) when creating a User Persona. 

2. Fictitious Name. It's only the name that generates an identity for your User Persona. Putting a character is more than all to give the user a real appearance and not leave it as another number in a template. 

3. Daily Responsibilities. This feature shows you how a person's typical day is. By knowing their daily duties, you can also understand their daily frustrations, challenges, goals, etc. 

4. Demographics. It refers to all information related to age, gender, income, education, etc. This data type helps you complement the basic data, collecting more specific and quantitative data.

5. Psychographic. They are the user's psychological attributes, including personality, preferences, hobbies, etc. These attributes help you to understand how users address the problems they are trying to solve. This type of data enables you to enter and deepen more in the user's thoughts, understanding what motivates them. Knowing it lets you create and offer an emotionally immersive customer experience. 

How are User Personas Used in Product Development?

User Personas help Product Development teams create better products centered on potential customers by providing the following advantages:

Empathy. It helps Product Developers know the user's perspective and identify their weaknesses.
Directions. A user persona enables the Product team to understand behavioral patterns and user actions, aiming to shape product strategy and prioritize feature requests. 
Research. User Research and new data discovery using the customer journey. Hence, creating a uUser Persona enables the centralization of data and the location and sharing target audience's findings.
Patterns. Creating a User Persona requires integrating features centered on real data, whether investigated or observed. 
State. The idea is to focus the research within an everyday context, without considering the user's future, but in the present and your current needs.

The perfect moment to use a User Persona is before drawing up the Product Strategy and during the customer analysis stage. During this first phase, you know your client through collecting data that allows you to guide the development process. But creating a User Persona is not enough; you must use it throughout your development process and keep it updated and relevant over time.

It serves as a starting point for your Product Strategy, roadmap, and alignment of your product's vision and objectives with your users' needs and expectations. Prioritize features and functionality depending on your user's value and pain concerns. Use them as a Product Design and Development reference, structuring your value proposition and marketing strategies around your consumers' motivations and problems. 

Design your User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) around the behaviors and preferences of your User Personas, and validate design and development decisions via user stories, user flows, and user testing. Finally, segment your audience and tailor your marketing platforms and campaigns to your consumers' demographics and activity. Maybe it sounds somewhat complex, but it's a process that works to the tune of good implementation.

How to Create User Personas in Product Development?

Before explaining how to create a User Persona, you must know how to group users. The best way to do this is not using common groupings, unifying users with similar information, such as gender, age, level of education, economic position, etc. Instead, it's better to group users using the responses to the next questions:

 Goals: What do users want to achieve with your products and services?
 Behavior: How do users normally interact with your products and services?
 Pain Points: What difficulties do customers experience when using your products or services? How can you help them solve these problems?

1. User Personas Data 

User Research is a process that contemplates many inquiry techniques, including surveys, interviews, observations, or a combination of these and other methods, allowing data collection to delve deeper into users' minds and reveal their needs and expectations. The research scope depends on the budget you have at your disposal. Likewise, the more recommended method is real field research; however, you can get information from work teams that already know the product in other related areas and work closely with it, highlighting customer service, sales teams, delivery managers, and other front-line specialists. 

2. User Personas Patterns 

Once you identify the objective group and collect the necessary information, it's time to transform the data into valuable insights to create a User Persona that identifies user behavior patterns. The main idea is mapping to each user, applying an appropriate set of behavioral variables to discover broader trends across specific points where user behavior differs. 

3. User Personas Prioritization

There are many versions of a User Persona. However, the amount should also not be too large. Having many personalities will throw away the main idea of creating a User Persona as a lodestar for all stakeholders. Be careful; there may be manyUser Personas, but it's good practice to prioritize and determine which one is the main one.

Common Miskates when Creating a User Persona

Following the methods mentioned earlier will get you well on your way to developing good User Personas. However, it is all too simple to make blunders while creating personas. Among the most frequent are:

Demographics. This common error implies things such as gender, age, education, status, marital status, and income, as well as the goods and services that your target customer uses, are insufficient. You must also consider users' objectives, habits, and pain spots, which only arise from true and complete user data.

Assumptions. The majority of individuals develop personas based on fake assumptions. These assumptions are frequently self-conceptions rather than facts.

Research. Another common mistake or misconception about User Personas is the lack of research or validation. The fact is, you must apply and go through both processes to achieve your business goals. 

Apply viable solutions or advice to solve these problems, some things you could consider are prioritizing objectives and weaknesses, making users visually attractive through accurate visual representation, avoiding character dispersion, and keeping just what is necessary. However, if you want something more elaborate, you can add more revealing characteristics such as psychographics, user behaviors, attitudes, opinions, and motivations.

Within a general context, the designer must stay within a unified design by integrating the same color schemes, fonts, and formatting for all personas to make them easier to compare. Also, stick to using real information, with an open mind to different possibilities and applications, and know that demographics are not personality. While true demographics comprise specific data, it’s not enough to understand the motivations and purchasing behaviors that stimulate target users.

As a last piece of advice, remember that your clients go through a process of constant evolution, and in the same way, actual customers are affected. Keeping up to date involves a regular research process; otherwise, it could be costly because it could lead to developing a product your target market no longer needs or wants.

Why are User Personas important in Product Development? 

We can start by mentioning that thanks to implementing a User Persona, you can create a seamless product development strategy that contemplates a perfect value proposition that meets the user's needs. On the other hand, a User Persona helps you minimize the time spent and effort on unnecessary things and processes if you already have a predefined user.

You can use a User Persona as a guide in the Product Development Roadmap to verify your project is on the right track to meet the business requirements and expectations. Creating a User Persona would help you increase customer participation and user feedback, as the product uses the right data using a prototype developed with real information, causing a user-friendly impression on the target audience. Having a good UX drive to a perfect brand reputation helps you expand and boost your user base and increase the Return On Investment (ROI). 

You must view and interpret theUser Persona creation as a bridge between you and your customers, including Developers and Product Managers. In a few words, a User Persona is a prototype whose primary purpose is to act like a compass during Product Development so that when misunderstandings arise, each stakeholder can review the created User Persona. So, having a clear and predefined personality proves that a business product has a consolidated position in the market.


After all, the User Persona is a fictional stereotype that simulates a real customer and includes many features related to the potential final user. In other words, it's a useful tool for the design team to identify, comprehend, and solve user needs and guide your product to market. It doesn't matter what template, framework, and approach you use; the user's personality is the foundation of every successful Product Life Cycle.