Personas are a tool that help venture teams to keep their specific user, or set of users, at the centre of their venture building process. Based on research about the demographics, desires, behaviours and lifestyle choices of your intended users, personas should be made up of specific insights that you can refer back to as you refine your solution, business model and branding. Your personas should represent the people you are building your solution to help. Personas come in a variety of formats but a strong persona should include:
1) A Profile Photo - this can be a stock photo or other google image that represents your user accurately.
2) Demographic Details - your user's job, marital status/family situation, age, income, education and location.
3) A Quote - a statement in your user's voice that reveals their perspective on your problem area.
4) A Biography - a written story that shines a light on your user's experience and day to day life including their experience of the problem.
5) Brands - highlight the brands that your user connects with to help reveal their values, taste, prioirities or aspirations
6) Goals, Frustrations, Motivations - a few points for each that highlight why your user makes the choices they do in day to day life.
Most importantly, personas should give you a full picture of your users and their perspective and needs related to your problem and solution.
WHEN: Start building your persona as soon as you feel you have a firm user or users and useful insights to support that. Personas can be refined overtime and based on further research but should become a stable reference point for you and your team as you begin build your solution.
WHY: Empathy with the user and their experience of your problem area are vital to creating a solution that is meaningful. Personas are a tool that fosters empathy and maintains focus on your user as other priorities and potential distractions arise throughout the venture building process.
SUPPLIES: Click here for a basic persona template. You can also use PowerPoint or Keynote or an online persona builder like Xtensio. Over time you should develop your user persona to relate more specifically to your problem and solution to make it more valuable and empathetic.