Persona, understanding the problem and user perspective and needs

In the company, there is a product manager role who is the voice of the end-user. In order to be user-centric, we must know who will be the product users and what is the product user’s motivation for using this application. Although the problem to be solved is basically the same, the way users adopt the solution will be very different from each other so we need to respect the differences and build a product that fits the uniqueness of all existing users by using user personas.

Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.

- Steve Jobs

User Persona

User Persona is documentation that contains an explanation of the characteristics of the target user used by a designer to represent the needs of a group of users. This persona is very useful for all stakeholders because of a clear description of who will use it and how they will use the software. Designers usually pour the fictional character into one to 2 pages.

Why is User Persona Important?

User Persona is important because it can help us to understand the user so that by understanding the user, we are able to know what their expectations are? What do they need? What problems do they face? What is the solution? So that after answering these questions, we can create products that meet user expectations.

Personas are formed with the aim of getting an idea of how potential users will interact with the product, then develop the product based on the image obtained.

Understanding users here can include several things such as knowledge related to user habits towards technology as well as knowing the target users for the product to be developed.

Example:

  • What are user expectations?
  • What do users need?
  • What solution can solve the problem the user is facing?

The information contained in the User Persona can be easily understood by many parties in the company. In addition, all parties can continue to remember who their target users are so they don’t need to focus on themselves.

Decision-making becomes clearer, easier, and better because it does not focus on your own wants/needs, but focuses on the needs and goals of users in using the software to be developed.

What are the factors that make a good user persona?

Although the user persona describes the person we imagine, as much as possible the user persona is made as real as possible (according to conditions that will actually happen) because we want our team to be able to relate to the user persona as if the user persona is someone they know.

Although we want a complete user persona, as much as possible we make the user persona concise and clear. Just write down the relevant details so the team will have no trouble reading the user persona.

We can’t position ourselves as users. Different people have different motivations, so there must be research with people who meet the persona criteria, which can be done with market research or surveys.

With a good structure, we present data that can be read well by other people who will read this user persona.

Then, how to create a user persona?

To create a user persona, we need to reach our user base. For example we can’t reach the base user we need (perhaps due to geographic or time zone problems) we can do it virtually. We can use the time division as below, namely 15% to identify the user base, 65% to reach users and do research and 20% to create user personas.

We can define things that will identify the end user. These include:

  • If we already have an end user and want to create another persona (repeat), start by bringing up the existing end user.
  • Check who the users of our competitors are.
  • Make our product segmentation the base. For example, product segmentation for car sales is owners, dealers and buyers.
  • Read the latest articles, news or updates from product segmentation to identify who can be end users.
  • Create categories from product segmentation according to the roles that exist in the end user, demographics, geography and others.

Research can be done through interviews, surveys or discussions that are not too formal. We can start with:

  • Start making interviews with users who have been found.
  • For users who we cannot meet physically, we can send surveys that can be filled out by the user.
  • Conduct interviews with internal teams that match the user’s criteria.

The information that must be in the persona is information related to the end users we have interviewed. The data we can collect is user motivation, expectations, difficulties, tasks and goals. After the data has been collected, we can create a design of a persona that contains a set of information that we have obtained.

  • Photo. Persona can be linked to a photo that describes the persona. Photo must be semi-professional and not cartoon (non-fiction).
  • Name. The name we give to the persona is a pseudonym but still can’t just make it random.
  • Description. We can add a role that matches the persona. Of course the role will be similar to the end users we have met and can describe the role clearly.
  • Motivation. Also write down the persona’s motivation in the field related to the application. This motivation can be in the form of what the persona wants to do that might be helped by the application that we are making.
  • Goals and Needs. In this section we can write down what our persona wants to achieve in using the application and what persona needs must be met in the application.
  • Pain Points. We can also write down the difficulties that Personas might find in using the application.

Persona Example

Okayy, now you understand User Persona and how to create it. Let’s take a look at the example of User Persona created by my team.

An example of the persona below is one of the personas my Project Team and I chose. We chose the persona, who is a student, actually not based on research. This was due to time constraints, so my team chose this persona based on the problem and background of my team who really needed the Track split bill application (can see the payment information of each member). Therefore, the pattern analysis that my team carried out was only limited to asking each other about the needs and problems of the split bill topic we chose.

When viewed from the components I mentioned above, it appears that the persona example does not fully follow the existing components, but actually the persona has covered all the needs of the persona such as biodata, background, goals as well as gain points, as well as pain points.

In my opinion, the example of the persona above can be said to be in accordance with the target user which really describes myself and my teammates. What difficulties do we face, what things do we need, why these problems can occur (what is the background). In addition, because the persona is a display of dummy data, so my team and I made photos, names, and addresses with fabricated data.

If you are confused whether this User Persona display really has to be made yourself or not, actually you can just look for the template because there are many on the internet and you can adjust it to your needs.

Finale

Creating a persona is not difficult is it? Oh yes, this persona can not only be used for company software development, but software development on smaller projects or organizations can also be done. Let’s create your own persona!

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