Persona Mapping – A Simple Guide

· 12 min read
Persona Mapping Templates

Creating personas is a vital step in any UX design process. By understanding the needs, motivations, and behaviors of your users, you can create better products that meet their needs.

In this blog post, we'll take a look at persona mapping from a UX perspective. We'll explore what persona mapping is, why it's important, and how to create personas that will help you improve your UX design.

Persona Mapping Research

What is persona mapping?

Persona mapping is a research technique used to understand the different types of users that might interact with a product, and what their needs and goals might be. By creating personas, designers can better understand how to create a product that appeals to as many users as possible. Each persona is based on real user data and typically includes demographic information, goals, and pain points.

Here are a few of the benefits of persona mapping:

Understand your users

By creating a persona, you can get a better understanding of who your users are, what they require and how they behave. This also makes it easier to empathize with users and think about how they might use the product. Personas also help designers prioritize features and decide which ones to focus on during design and development.

Make better design decisions

Creating personas can help you make better design decisions. Personas are fictional, yet representative, users created to help guide product design. By knowing your persona's goals, needs, and frustrations, you can design a product that is more likely to meet their needs.

When is the best time to create personas?

Personas are a key part of the user experience design process, but they’re not necessary at the beginning. You can create them after you’ve gathered user data and created prototypes, or even after you’ve launched a product. The important thing is that you create personas when you have enough data to make informed decisions about your users.

Why is persona mapping important?

Persona mapping is important because it helps you understand your users. By creating personas, you can see your users as real people with real needs, rather than just data points. This helps you empathize with your users and design products that are more likely to meet their needs.

Persona Mapping Flow

How Do You Do Persona Mapping?

There are a few different ways to go about persona mapping.

The first way to create a persona map is by using customer data. This approach uses data from surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other research methods to compile information about your customers. This information can include demographics such as age, gender, marital status, occupation, income level, and education level; as well as psychographics such as lifestyle interests and activities, attitudes and opinions, and media use.

The second way to create persona maps is by using social media data. This approach uses data such as Facebook likes, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, and other social media content to compile information about your customers.

The third way is by using market research data. Market research data is generated by interviewing customers, competitors, and other industry experts. The information obtained from this kind of research is then used to create a persona map.

The difference between marketing & UX personas

Personas are a hot topic in both marketing and user experience (UX) circles, but they are created and serve different purposes in each field.

Both marketing and UX personas are important for helping businesses understand their target audience. While they share some commonalities, it's critical to understand the differences, so you can create personas that serve the specific needs of your team.

UX Personas

UX personas are fictional character models that help product teams empathize with their users and understand their goals and aspirations. They are created from various user research methods that are used to drive product and user experience. UX personas focus on the goals, aspirations, and motivations of the core users.

Marketing Personas

Creating marketing personas is a process that begins with market research from your existing customer base. This research is then used to create fictional characters that represent your ideal customers. These personas are used to segment and target your marketing activities.

Creating marketing personas is a valuable exercise for any business, as it can help you better understand your customers and create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.

User Research Template

Tips for creating UX personas

When you’re designing a user experience, it’s tempting to create multiple personas. After all, the more personas you have, the more accurately you can design for your users. But in reality, you should try to limit yourself to one or two personas.

Creating too many personas can lead to confusion and complexity. You may find yourself trying to design for too many users and not focusing on any of them. It can also be difficult to keep track of all your personas and their needs.

So set out to focus on one or two key personas, and make sure you understand their needs and wants intimately. That way, you can create an experience that’s truly tailored to them.

To create accurate personas, they need to be created based on research. This means that the team creating the persona needs to collect data from real people who match the persona’s target demographic.

This data can come from surveys, interviews, and focus groups. The team should also look at customer data from the company’s current customers to get an idea of who their current customers are. Once all of this data is collected, it can be used to create a profile for the persona. This profile should include information such as age, gender, occupation, education level, income level, and interests.

User Interview

How to do research for creating UX personas

User research is vital to understand the behavior and needs of those using your product. By speaking to a variety of users, you can gain valuable insights into how they interact with your product and what their needs are. This research can then be used to inform the design of your product and make it more user-friendly.

To get the most accurate results, it is important to speak to a variety of users. This means speaking to users from different backgrounds and with different levels of experience with your product. If you have multiple personas for your product, make sure to speak to users from each persona type. This will give you a well-rounded view of your user base and their needs.

User research is a significant part of the product design process. By speaking to users, you can gain valuable insights that will help you improve your product.

Moderated research sessions

If you want to create an in-depth persona, you'll need to do some research. The best way to get to know your target audience is to conduct moderated research sessions. This involves having a conversation with your target audience using a discussion guide. During the conversation, you'll want to ask sidetrack and follow-up questions to discover relevant details.

If you don't have the time or budget for moderated discussions, you can start with assumptions, competitor analysis or internal stakeholder interviews. All of these methods will help you get to know your target audience better, so you can create a persona that accurately represents them.

Analyzing results

When analyzing the results from the moderated interviews, take note of any patterns or overlap in the responses regarding social media and privacy. This will help you to identify any common characteristics or traits among the users who are concerned with the privacy risks associated with social media.

For example, if you find that privacy is a common concern among the users you interviewed, you can then use this information to further tailor your research.

User Research Step

Persona research

Moderated interviews are a great way to get to know your customers and understand their needs and wants. However, it is important to keep in mind that each product or service is different, and you will need to tailor your questions accordingly.

When conducting a moderated interview, you should start by asking some basic questions about the product or service. Once you have a good understanding of the customer's needs, you can then start to ask more specific questions. It is also essential to allow the customer plenty of time to answer each question. This will help you get to the root of their needs and wants, and ensure that you collect valuable data.

Moreover, most of the moderated interview sessions should include most if not all the following question types:

Personal life

Moderated interviews are a great way to get to know your participants on a personal level. By asking questions about their personal lives, you can learn more about their motivations and what makes them tick.

When conducting moderated interviews, be sure to ask questions about your participants' personal lives. This will give you a better understanding of who they are and what drives them. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Where do you live?
  • How do you spend your spare time?
  • What are your favorite brands? (This gives insight into their personality and their motivations.)
  • What kind of car do you drive? (This tells you about their lifestyle and their income level.)
  • What are your favorite TV shows or movies? (What do they like to watch in their spare time, and what interests them?)
User Persona - Work Experience

Work experience and technical skills questions

The following questions are designed to help us gain a better understanding of our user's technical background and employment history.

  • How do you spend a typical weekday? This will give us insight into our user's daily routines and help us empathize with them.
  • What software and tools do you use while working? This question will provide the much-needed technical context for our users. This will also reveal some technical skills that our users might have.
  • How many hours do you work on a typical day?
  • What devices do you use at work?
  • How do you manage your schedule?

Needs and goals questions

In a moderated interview, it is important to ask questions about the user's professional needs and goals.

This will help you understand how they plan to achieve these goals and what they need to do to be successful. By asking these questions, you will be able to gather valuable information that can help you improve the products and services that you offer.

  • What are your professional goals?
  • How do you intend to achieve them?
  • What do you have to achieve your goals?
User Persona Creation

Creating the UX persona

When creating a persona, you will want to include as much detail as possible, such as demographics, behaviors, motivations, and goals. This will help you to better understand your target customers and how to reach them.

Creating detailed personas may seem like a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end. By taking the time to create detailed personas, you will be able to better target your marketing efforts and more effectively reach your target customers.

Here's an example of a good level of detail for a persona:

Dan grabs a coffee in the morning from a known coffee shop in downtown Seattle before he jumps on the train to get to his 9:30 am meeting with his client. During his commute of about 30 minutes, he checks his emails and checks Instagram and Twitter to stay on top of the current marketing trends.

Now that we know what a persona is, let's take a closer look at its components and what information each element should capture. Keep in mind that a persona should have enough information for you to understand the user at a glance, much like an expanded business card.

Here are the different parts of a persona and what each one should capture:

Name

When naming UX personas, choose a name that sounds like a real person. This will help users connect with the persona. For example, if you are designing a persona for a healthcare app, you might want to name your persona “Frank Sullivan.”

Always use the full name and the pronoun “he” or “she” when referring to your persona. For example, “Frank Sullivan is a 35-year-old male who lives in New York City.” This will help users visualize your persona as a real person.

Short bio

As part of your UX research, you will need to come up with a short bio for a persona. This persona should be based on the research you have conducted and should include personal and employment data points that were shared during the interviews. Having a persona will help you to better understand the needs of your target user and will allow you to design a more user-friendly experience.

Image

When creating a UX persona, it is important to include an image. The image should be of a real person that represents your target customer. Do not use stock photos or images of people who do not represent your target market. If you are targeting millennials, for example, find a photo of a millennial that reflects your target customer.

Including an image helps you to create a more realistic persona and makes it easier to imagine what this person is like.

Summary

Another very useful element for your persona card is a summary or a rundown of your persona's personality traits. This summary should either be an overview of what was learned about them during research or something essential to them. For example, your persona might be a middle-aged woman who is highly analytical and very detail-oriented.

Brands

When developing a UX persona, it is essential to inquire about their favorite brands. This is because brands can provide context to the persona and serve as a mood board. They can also trigger empathy for the persona. For example, if they enjoy Zara, they may be expecting a stylish environment with a multitude of options and affordable prices. Even if the brand is unrelated to the product, the product can still embody the same attributes and expectations to appeal to the persona.

Values & Motivation

When creating a persona, it is also critical to include the values and their behaviors. For example: “I am not afraid of working late hours” or “I use YouTube and LinkedIn learning to learn more about my work domain and get better.” By including these values or behaviors, you can create a more realistic and relatable persona.

Goals

A persona's goals are essential to consider because they will help to shape the product you are designing and developing. By understanding a persona's goals, you can create a product that better meets their needs and helps them to achieve their objectives.

When considering a persona's goals, it is critical to think about both their short-term and long-term objectives. What do they hope to achieve in the next week, month, or year? And what are their goals for the longer term? By understanding a persona's goals, you can create a product that helps them to achieve their objectives both in the short term and in the long term.

Pain points

When creating a UX persona, it is essential to also document the user's current pain points. This will help you understand what is causing frustration for the user and build towards solving their pain points. By knowing their pain points, you can design products that address their needs and improve their overall experience.

Personality

When building your UX personas, it can be helpful to include a personality type. This can give you a more profound understanding of how your persona may think and behave. There are a variety of personality tests you can use, but we suggest the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. This test can give you insight into your persona's preferences and how they might approach situations.

Once you have the results of the personality test, you can use this information to help you build a more well-rounded persona. This can help you design better experiences for your users, as you'll have a better understanding of how they think and what they require.

The customer journey

Creating customer journey maps is a vital step in understanding your personas and how they interact with your company. By mapping out each persona's journey, you can better understand their needs and how to best serve them in through diverse touchpoints during their lifecycle with your product.

Customer journey maps will help you determine what content, offers, and experiences your personas require at each stage of their journey. They also help you identify any potential pain points and areas of improvement. By understanding your personas' journey, you can create a better experience for them that ultimately leads to more conversions and sales.

Conclusion

Creating a usable UX persona is a time-consuming but valuable task before starting your design process. Your persona should be visible in your office and your colleagues should be aware of it.

It is also important to remember that these UX personas have an expiration date – you shouldn't use a persona for more than 12-14 months. Subsequently, you should try to refresh your data by conducting another round of moderated interviews and going through the process again.