Persona / Empathy Map

One of the more popular frameworks is the Persona. Often misunderstood, they are in no way a means to cement your hunches or ideas about your customers in an ‘I believe this is how my customer looks’-like description. They are rather a result of the research conducted in customer discovery.  

The actual nature of the Persona is a version of another tool – the Empathy Map. This is a synopsis of the various dimensions of your qualitative research. It collects the specific aspects of several „interviewed individuals“ and allows juxtaposition with your individual interpretations. As a result, a fictional person is created who brings together the various unique characteristics of the researched group of people.

Image result for xtensio persona examples
Source: https://xtensio.com/user-persona/

As a matter of principle, the results of the Empathy Map exercise, the Persona, is also suitable for presenting or „selling“ the ideas which are based on them: if you use them as examples of users, you can simply generate stories relating to the advantages of the product or service and illustrate their application.

But they should always be based on the research of reality and not describe the „ideal“ state of a future user or customer.  

Resources

  • This tool by Xtensio is especially useful for persona visualization.
  • This collection of resources may be especially useful if you want to dig deeper into the topic. The following links might be especially useful:
    • This article on three different types of personas.
    • This video on the most common mistakes that lead to bad personas.
    • This video differentiating personas and jobs to be done.
  • This instruction by UX Mastery explains you how to actually do a persona.
  • This video explains visually how you create personas.
  • This video explains what an empathy map is and how you can leverage them to understand your customers better.