Ten years ago, I wrote in “Product Design: Bridging the Gap Between Product Management & Development” for Pragmatic Marketer that:
“Personas are a stand-in for a unique group of people who share common goals. They are fictional representatives—archetypes based on the users’ behaviors, attitudes, and goals.”
The concepts of a persona have been around for a long time. The use of personas can be traced all the way back to Greek theater. Over the years, personas have made their way into use of literature, music, psychology and marketing. In the late 1990s, Alan Cooper brought personas to experience design with his book, The Inmates are Running the Asylum.
Now days, I would not think of developing a journey map or service blueprint without a persona. Even when developing your Sales strategy, I would expect personas to be a part of it.
Personas have evolved. There are buyer personas that make the purchase decision and users personas that have the direct interaction with the products and services. There are influencer personas that inform the buyer persona. Sometimes there are group of personas that make decisions together.
There are many ways to think about your personas and the experience that you deliver. We will be talking more about personas and doing hands-on activities around them at our UX Boot Camp for Agile Development May 19 at the Rady School of Management, UC San Diego. Please join us if you would like to learn more.