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What is a persona and why do we use them?

What is a persona?

A persona is a fictitious character that is created as part of our digital marketing process. They are used to represent the main characteristics of group of users and are referred back to throughout the process as part of our user-centred design approach. 

Personas are useful when it is either not possible or practical to get a user focus group together for a specific target audience. They can be created by the Itineris team or as part of an interactive creative session with our clients. We find that the latter is more effective and often produces interesting results that give real insight into website users.

When creating personas we first choose a name and select an image, we then consider some personal details to give the character depth. These details can include their age, where they live, their job, etc. We then consider their issues and challenges; based on these we develop a selection of key messages to the specific audience group. Below is an example of a persona that we created for the Royal Air Force Museum website.

Personal:

  • 45 Year old teacher
  • Lives & works in a Southampton primary school
  • Works with year 9 & 11 Children

Issues:

  • Finding information to allow her to plan a group visit
  • Looking for added value attractions
  • Finding an educational reason for trip

Key Messages:  

  • A great day out whatever age group
  • School lessons at the museum
  • Huge range of educational and interactive exhibits
  • Call the Education department!

All personas are included within our specification document and should be considered at key stages throughout the project. It is important to consider the customer journey when developing the site structure; Personas provide a framework that allows us to consider these as part of the process. We also refer to the Personas when producing wireframes, creative routes and when evaluating the development site.

Written by

Digital Director

Matt Horsup

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