fjorge Design Process: Creating User Personas

Erin Bruns
August 11, 2020

One aspect of fjorge’s process is the Discovery phase. During this time, Solution Architects and UX/UI Designers work closely with the client to meticulously understand the problem at hand. One exercise we use to accomplish this goal is defining and creating user personas.

What is a user persona? 

A persona represents one type of user based on a target audience. Personas are designed with a specific user in mind- the more specific the better. While a persona is not a real person, it is meant to be realistic. Often times a persona includes: 

  • Name and age 
  • Profession 
  • Proficiency with the product/service they are interacting with  
  • Goals and Motivations 
  • And any other information that describes this person in the context of the project 
Why use personas? 

Personas help every step of the process be as productive and efficient as possible. For a Solutions Architect, understanding a persona can give insight to not only the problems and pain points a user might encounter but also user expectations. Being able to place ourselves within the mindset of a user enables us to think not as a Solution Architect but as whoever the user might be. The result is a product that will deliver the capabilities the users expect and need. 

Personas are used throughout the entire development process by architects, designers, and developers in order to get everyone on the same page of who we are creating for. 

Without user personas, each member of the team is left creating a product with different understandings of the users or, sometimes, no user at all. Without a user, we cannot guarantee a product that will work. Just because the website is fundamentally functional does not mean it will be functional for the user. 

What we need from you

In order to create personas, fjorge relies heavily on the knowledge of project stakeholders brought together by our clients. You know your users and target audience far better than we could guess. During our discovery session, we will walk you through everything we want to know about your users. You are the expert! All we ask for is your engagement and trust that this activity will add value to the product. Because it will. Trust us. 

Example

Let’s say your company is building a web app for finding dog parks in the area. Your marketing team has done some background research on users and has some insights into who we are making this project for. 

creating user Personas card, "Ashley, 28, About section: works as a wedding planner for her own business, dog mom of Bear, a Border Collie, single, lives alone in Chicago, Motivations section: Gets her dog outside where he can run, allow her dog to interact with other dogs, get to meet other dog owners and socialize, pain points section: hard to find parks that allow dogs off of leashes, needs a park that allows dogs at all hours because her work schedule can make for random work hours, Bear has a ton of energy and he needs a lot of space to run around" Together, we created a persona, Ashley. Ashley is not real, but she sounds pretty real and we’ve got a good understanding of her, her goals, and her pain points. I think we could build something that would really help Ashley out!

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