You collect insights, but combining them doesn’t always work. As a result, we can turn to personas to try and generalize some key traits. A good persona is an abstraction or generalization of people or an archetype.

To create your personas, you can map your users’ attributes. Attributes include:

  • Activities: what the users do
  • Attitudes: how the users think about the domain space and problem
  • Aptitudes: what the users’ education and trainings are
  • Motivations: why the user is acting
  • Skills: what the user may already be able to do and his/her capabilities

After you map out attributes of your users, look for patterns and clusters to help you create abstract personas not based on any specific person you already met with. Use generic, befitting photos found online for your personas to help you visualize them.

The difference between personas and proto-personas is that personas are based on your observed data while proto-personas are based on your hallucinated assumptions of users.

Personas are useful for:

  • helping you synthesize observed data
  • focusing your design
  • getting your team on the same page

Contrastingly, proto-personas are good for:

  • laying out your assumptions
  • establishing a baseline to amend later
  • giving you hypotheses that you can then try to validate

About the author: joel

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