How to create target personas

Target/User personas

Target persona describes the Key characteristics, needs, responsibilities and motives of a typical user segment.

Why it matters:

Having a strong understanding of the target persona helps a product manager to build features that are relevant to them rather than creating a one size fits all feature. Products are built to solve problems for specific segment of users. Business decisions made without having a deep understanding of the personas will likely to fail.

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How to create target personas

Creation of target persona involves in categorising users in to segments. Segmentation can be done in multiple ways and here we focus on the two important categorisation techniques.

  1. User Journey
  2. Motivation / Needs / Frequency

User Journey

User journeys is a sequence of stages that a user might fall in to when they start to discover the product. Segmenting based on user journey is helpful to define the exact phase where a user belongs to in the product.

  • Visitor – Users who visit the landing page
  • New user – Users who have converted as a paid user
  • Active user – Users who use the product in a meaningful way
  • Advocate – Users who support and act as a product evangelist

Motivation / Needs / Frequency

Users can also be segmented based on needs, motivation or frequency such as,

  1. Causal user – Occasional users having less attachment to the product.
  2. Power user – Frequent usage and knows the product in and out.
  3. Enthusiast – Use the product based on personal interest but do not have a dire need.

After segmenting the user, we will need to extract themes from the user research and feedback data. To extract themes, follow the two steps below.

  1. Identify repetitive information among the same user group
  2. Categorize the sentiment or feedback based on need vs motivation

For example, let’s assume we have user interviews gathered from Quora users. Then the them would be as follows.

User research dataTheme
I love the news feed as it is very interesting to scroll through the postsFeels excited
I actively read the posts by others but I’m afraid to post because I’m scared of people being rude to my postsNeeds acceptance from the community
I enjoy the news feed as the posts from the people I follow gives me something interesting to readFeels excited
I always comment on feeds that catches my attention so I feel I’m contributing to the peopleLoves to be part of the community

With the target persona and the theme identified, you can start to build and improve features that helps increase the user base and product growth.

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