- What motivates your consumers?
- What are your consumers' attitudes and preferences?
- What are your consumers' goals?
- What are your consumers' actions and/or behaviors?
To gather this information, use a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to capture both aided and unaided information about your consumers. The research should include methodologies that will harvest attitudes and motivations within the social Web.
Once you've collected the necessary data, it's time for synthesis and persona definition-a process that is centered around informed clustering. Include this rule of thumb in your formula for persona development: Personas should be mutually exclusive and distinguishable to drive business decision making that could define user interface design and online campaign developments, fuel information architecture, and prioritize features.
After the personas have been defined, collaborate to determine how many and which personas to prioritize and visualize. Then partner with your creative team-including designers and copywriters-to visualize the personas.
Consider the hypothetical example of a persona 2.0 called Sarah, a social shopper (see the image below). It includes a view of her basic profile information, a quote which embodies her feeling about the Acme Apparel Co., and a brief narrative that helps her audience understand her expectations and goals. The component that allows Acme in this example to understand Sarah as a Web-empowered consumer is her core value of "interaction" and the three experience components of shared world, inner world and the brand world. The world metaphors translate the love triangle, which provides Acme a view of how Sarah is as an individual, as a part of the community and her relationship (actual or desired) to Acme as a brand.
When and How Should I Use Personas?
Creating personas is only one part of the work; applying them as an ongoing decision support tool is the most important step. Once the personas are visualized, share them and infuse them into everyday business conversations.