User Persona Template for Agile Product Managers
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Defining user personas is a technique used in product development to model target customers, formalized as realistic, yet still fictional, characters. Creating user personas in UX involves a certain degree of research. You need to get to know your target audience to be able to create goal-directed archetypes that focus on customer needs, behavioral attributes, context and demographics to successfully serve your product management needs. There are several types of user personas for UX, including complex, lean (proto-personas), empathy, goal-oriented/design and marketing/demographic personas.
How to Create Diverse User Personas?
A few ways to make sure that your user personas will really represent a wide range of customers:
- Start with existing clients: existing users are your most important asset for gathering information. By analyzing their feedback you can learn much more than you ever imagined. When creating user personas, data from your actual users, when available, should be your starting point.
- Gather insights from people around you: all humans tend to think in set templates and stereotypes. So your own imagination can only take you so far. Use the priceless resource of the people around you. Talk to your colleagues and gather their input on potential personas.
- Base user personas on research, not assumptions: ideally, user personas would be based on accurate analysis of vast databases, fine-tuned to match your perfect customers. But this is rarely the case and it is certainly not an ideal that works for the agile development process. This doesn’t mean that research should not be a part of your method. Using widely available data can prove immensely eye-opening.
- Consider dispensing with demographics altogether: some experts claim demographics can cause assumptions, shortcuts in thinking, and subconscious stereotypes by team members. Limiting what we include in our persona description resonates with the concept of the lean persona and may help us overcome the limitations of our own minds when we are searching for new target audiences.
User Personas in Agile Management
The use of “personas” is extremely helpful in designing effective product management workflows. They allow brands to visualize their products from the customer’s point of view. Yet, agile timelines are not always afforded the lengthy periods needed to invest in complex personas. Lean personas for UX can still provide the value and insights your product management team needs, presenting only as much information as your PM team needs to mull and complete the project. Usually built more from qualitative data than from quantitative, the lean UX process is faster and friendlier on the company budget, provided, of course, that your product owners or stakeholders do not demand multiple reviews before approval. Our user persona templates are best suited for lean personas.
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