An unparalleled portrait of your users
Personas are archetypes of users, customers or prospects whose beliefs and behavior patterns are carefully studied and then cataloged and summarized. Personas are most commonly utilized for product and website design, content marketing, customer service and selling.
Teams use personas or sets of personas to determine whether their designs or messaging meet their target audiences’ needs. Focusing on the end user’s needs prevents the most common and costly of design mistakes: the tendency to create “self-referential” designs or messages.
Usability Sciences has a time-tested and proven methodology for persona development. Our process goes beyond simply cataloging beliefs and behaviors by creating a mental model that can be used in a predictive manner. When done right, this yields actionable personas that can be used to predict with accuracy and certainty how any potential user or customer would respond to any given stimulus – a product feature, website function, promotional offer or call to action. This enables design and marketing decisions to be made much faster and typically eliminates the need for extensive downstream revision.
As our customers tell us, trying to anticipate how a user will respond to a design idea without using predictive personas is little better than guessing.
Usability Sciences believes in a multiphase research approach to developing personas, and every phase of that research and construction is based on the mental model.
After learning your objectives, Usability Sciences will create a customized research solution incorporating the following research activities to ensure a high quality, cost-effective outcome.
Analyze existing customer provided research
Many of our clients are Fortune 500 companies, which typically have an abundance of existing primary research. We filter the relevant data to establish base demographics, as well as market segments and their defining characteristics.
Examine existing secondary research
Secondary research, or sources of information not contained in the other research activities, can add industry or social context from perspectives beyond a brand or organization’s view of their markets and customers.
Review Channel-derived user experience data
Channel data comes in a variety of forms: Website survey data is often rich in attitudinal, behavioral and experiential insights that give personas authenticity and bring them to life. Web analytics is an abundant source of behavioral data. Call-center or customer service reports and transcriptions are also excellent sources of anecdotal data, as well as behavioral or attitudinal trends.
Any touch point, in fact, can yield relevant data for the persona creation process.
Incorporate qualitative research
This can take the form of a field study, in-depth interviews (IDIs) or focus groups. Qualitative research is best undertaken after the primary quantitative research, survey data and other data sources are analyzed.
What you can expect from persona development
Our mental model provides coherency and consistency to the personas, which reveals the cause-and-effect mechanism at work in the target audience's decision-making processes. The personas are portraits of different types of users or customers that will help your team members share a common vision of the target audience, saving time in decision-making and eliminating risky guesswork.
Personas are the key to achieving a higher level of confidence in your product or website’s design, your content marketing strategy, your call center response strategies, or your sales approaches.