User personas make the foundation of designing the user experience (UX) for a mobile app. The entire UX design practice depends heavily on the patterns of interactions between users and machines. This is simply because the app product design depends heavily on the understanding of user audiences across various parameters. The user research furnishes the insights based upon which UI/UX design services take decisions.
Here we are going to explain the definition and key attributes of designing user persona for mobile app design.
A user persona is created to represent your ideal user with all its characteristics, needs, motivations and shortcomings. Through user personas basically the app development teams sympathize with the users of the app tries to create an app that meets their expectations and requirements. Through user persona the designer and developer gather insights about how the end-user can use the app and get benefits from it.
As per definition, the user persona though defined with many characteristics common to actual intended users of the app itself remains a fictitious character. Instead of representing the objective and aim of any single individual user persona tries to define the objective and characteristics of a larger user group. With the help of user persona the product design team of an app project tries to customize all elements of an app based on the preferences and needs of a larger user base.
For an app to become successful, reflecting the user preferences and requirements in everything starting from the in-app content to the features and functions to UI design is important. This is where user persona plays a guiding role.
A user persona coming as a short document consisting of one or two ages showcases all user details including specific user needs, objectives, demographic data and other attributes such as gender, age, occupation, location, and user personality attributes. The user persona should particularly focus on the key user characteristics that can impact the design decisions of an app. Whether you are an iOS or Android app development company, a user persona is an unavoidable stepping stone in the development process.
There are different approaches to create a user persona. There are various templates for user persona design. It depends on a number of factors such as the app budget, timeline, research data, etc. Here we provide a step by step guideline for creating user personas.
App development teams with the help of user research come with certain decisions that can impact the user experience. The user data and data-driven insights are evaluated to measure the impact of the app features, functions and design attributes on the user experience. In the heart of the design decisions, people’s feedback is given priority.
Almost all effective user personas used by successful apps start with user research. User research offers the most effective way to get a proper and precise understanding of the users of the app product. This can be done by carrying out interviews and studies of people using the app for different goals, motivation and behavior attributes.
The user research helps the product design team to avoid fictional characters for taking design decisions. When field studies or direct user research avenues cannot be availed due to budget it other constraints, a competitive study and analysis of the target user groups can furnish relevant insights.
The next and obvious step is to analyze the collected user data and identify specific user characteristics and behavior patterns emerging from user research. After analyzing these data-driven insights into clusters and groups, you get a solid grasp of user identities. Often the exercise results in several user personas. When several personas appear as similar, you need to remove them or rearrange them to get potential characters.
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Now when you have finished collecting all the user data, you have to describe each persona comprising several different characteristics as we mentioned below.
In this respect, it is important to avoid using too many personal details in the user persona description. With unnecessary details the persona can be completely disqualified as a tool for the purpose it is meant to serve. The user attributes do not need to be actually real but only realistic in character.
In case multiple user personas emerge from the research, for the app, it is required to prioritize among these personas. Always go with a primary and basic persona based upon which key design decisions will be taken and then secondary persona is accommodated for other design decisions.
Mapping Different Scenarios for User Interaction
User personas can only be useful as long as they fit into different scenarios for user interaction. Through the interaction scenarios how a specific user persona gets into interaction with a mobile app in a specific context and for a primary goal is illustrated. Based upon this the design team designs and shapes the core user journey of the app.
Finally, after coming with the user personas based on user research and following processes it needs to be shared with all team members and stakeholders so that they can understand how the persona actually resonates with their approach towards the app. The idea is to associate people with the user persona so that in real context the persona can appear as effective.
All the steps of user persona design mentioned here are basically inspired by successful app projects across the niches. Reaching effective design and development decisions requires going through a user-focused research and user persona is the tool to do that in perfect fashion.
WRITTEN BY: Kapil Antala
Kapil Antala is a Design Lead at CMARIX Technolabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading UI/UX Design Services Company with 12+ years experience. Kapil firmly believes that…
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