Create vivid personas
WHAT IS A PERSONA?
Personas are portraits of fictional but realistic individuals. They are used as a common reference point to communicate particular groups in your intended audience. Personas draw together the characteristics of similar people – their behaviours, motivations – into one ‘archetype’ through which the group can be understood.
HOW TO USE IT?
By creating a fictional character to embody the characteristics of a profile group, you don’t lose the little details that make someone the person they are. In this way, personas help ensure that your work stays focused on people, rather than an abstract description of the group they are said to represent.
The ‘persona vignette’ canvas provides a useful format to help build vivid personas for your projects. You can download the persona vignette canvas below.
Developing successful personas is all about knowing what to put in, and what to leave out. They’re often developed from a range of different sources, each of which might contain lots of detail.
The trick is to recognise the common characteristics that could form the basis of a persona, and which personal details to include in order to bring them ‘to life’.
Use the worksheet to compile a portrait of a typical person. Try to make them as close to a real person as possible by adding a name, picture and descriptions of interests, skills and motivations.
Bio & demographics
The bio should be a short descriptor that helps you visualise them easily, e.g.: “stayat- home dad of two toddlers in Penzance, struggling with …”. Any demographics data should be succinct and kept only to metrics relevant to the situation.
Wishes & engagement
Spell out what they want to achieve; what would be their ideal outcome?
Also identify, from their perspective, why they would want to engage with you and why they might not.
The ‘persona vignette’ worksheet is included in our free PLAYBOOK, a collection of 30 of our favourite tools and techniques. Download them all now in the PLAYBOOK.