Personas: A Key to Better UX
Good UX can be a quick and cost-effective way to improve your bottom line. In a recent post, we offered an overview of UX. In this post, we’ll help you start taking steps to improving UX.
The first step to a better user experience is a better understanding of who your users are – and what they want and need.
Ways to get to know your users
There are multiple ways to find out more about your users, including surveys for specific questions and easily quantifiable results (“Which of these six channels do you use most often to learn about our products?”). One-on-one interviews help you gather candid information and dig deeper (“Tell me what attracts you to our website.”). And focus groups are great for more general questions (“What kind of experiences have you had with our product?”) and when you want to stimulate an open discussion with a number of users.
Consider using personas
You may want to consider using personas to help shape UX. Personas are representations of ideal customers based on your market research and data about existing customers. You may have already done the legwork to craft personas. Personas provide insight into where to focus your marketing time – and they can help guide your UX efforts as well. Elements that help craft a persona include customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals. Personas are valuable because they give you the ability to hone in on the needs of specific users rather than “everyone.”
The benefits of using personas for UX
A recent Blue Fountain Media article lists a number of benefits for using personas.
- Detailed personas can create a baseline for how different users will react to your website’s navigation – so you can make sure that the flow is optimized for easy movement through your site.
- Personas can help the design team craft an experience geared toward the types of expected visitors to your site. Elements may include space for copy, font size and graphics.
- What does your target audience relate to? Personas may assist in answering questions about content that will appeal to and engage your users.
- Personas can keep teams on track and on message, focused on the needs of the types of users who will be using the website – and not just on gut instincts.
- Jack owns a small landscaping business. He needs to be able to order replacement parts and have access to resources that will help him safely and properly service his equipment on his own in the field.
- Patricia is the office manager at a busy medical practice that has two locations. She needs to be able to quickly access internal systems from her desktop, laptop and mobile phone – all with a layer of security.
- Andrew is a student pursuing an MBA in International Business. He needs to use his mobile phone for personal and school emails and to retrieve course material online. He is also very engaged in social media and needs to have access to the latest social apps.
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