As the marketplace shifts from mass manufacturing to a mass customization model, customers needs and desires are more accurately identified through the development of personas rather than through demographic data.
A persona represents a cluster of users who exhibit similar behavioral patterns in their purchasing decisions, use of technology or products. One-on-one interviews are conducted to define a targeted audience. Patterns of behavior define each user type and provide a clear understanding of how they relate to each other.
Qualitative data and observations determine how to customize the user experience to specific types of people based on their attitudes, behaviors, and motivations, regardless of demographic information.
The buy-in from leadership within each department early in the persona process is key to socializing the personas. Getting all of the key stakeholders involved early in the process involves them in informing the initial understanding of the customer and, therefore, helps define the research.
The success and longevity of Personas will be limited. A consistent and customizable user experience across the entire product lifecycle is the key to adoption, usage, and loyalty. Read more about how Personas create the Foundation of a Great User Experience.