Personas bring the user alive. They are 'archetypal' users - telling stories about users to give everyone in the organisation a collective understanding of who the users are and what they want.
We are often asked to produce personas for websites. After hours of working with the client and speaking to users to diligently research and craft these, they often then can left gather dust in the bowels of an organisation.
So how can you make sure your personas are used effectively? Here are our top tips for making sure your personas get used and add value to your organisation:
- Make them visibly present e.g. an A4 print out on the pin board by the desk, as a poster on the wall, as a cardboard cut-out in the corner of the office - continually reminding you about what's important to them.
- Appoint a persona champion – someone whose job it is to see that these are incorporated into corporate thinking
- Get senior management buy-in – your C-suite should believe that your personas matter. This will ensure they are implicitly communicated throughout the organisation
- Include in all discussions - about content, navigation or design e.g. “You say the content should be presented like that but is that what ‘Fred’ would want?”
- Integrate into all formalised processes - ideally there should be a governance system in place so all content is approved before being added to the website. This should include whether there is a user need for it e.g. “It’s a primary user goal of James”
- Add to your KPIs – and providing feedback to senior management e.g. “Lucy achieved 90% of her goals”
- Keep them alive and up-to-date – for example with input from customer facing staff, with updated user research, with any relevant outcomes from any other market research
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