Creating a persona

After a brief hiatus due to being out of the country, I am back in the UX Jungle preparing to create a persona for the Move Your Tale website. Let’s check some reference guides to find a route through this persona swamp.

Lots of guides, all speaking the same language

I’ve accumulated many online resources for developing a persona. What I’ve found is that they all have the same underlying statement: Personas are important, so do them…and be sure to have good user research off which to base them.

Here are a few resources I’ve found helpful:

Break that schtuff on down

Now I need to break down the data I’ve gathered. The problem is…most of my data looks the same. To me, that means one of two things (or two of two things?):

  1. Most the Move Your Tale users need/want/say the same things.
  2. I didn’t gather enough data.

Okay….so….what does that mean? In my opinion, I keep moving forward. I feel I’ve gathered enough data because after a while, the users continue to say the same things over and over.

The doubting game begins

Do smaller projects require less user research? The Move Your Tale website isn’t a huge site that requires a ton of pages and features. This project is small because the business is small and offers a handful of things to its clients/audience. I don’t want to skimp on my user research, but quite frankly, I’m not sure where to stop in this phase of the project cycle. Do I stop when I “feel” I am done? When the data begins repeating over and over? When I’ve completed the amount of research I decided on earlier in the project? Thoughts?

Data breakdown after my mental breakdown

Okay. Here we go – time to lay out all my cards and see what our persona hand looks like.

Demographics

While demographics don’t create your persona (or so I read), you still need them for a well-rounded persona.

  • Age – mid 30s to mid 40s
  • Gender – healthy balance of males and females, with a slight edge toward females
  • Income – a good living, some with two incomes, some with one
  • Average household has 2 kids

Lifestyle

  • Local supporters (local radio, farmers markets, etc.)
  • Engaged with their children
  • Like to schedule extra curricular activities for their children, especially during non-school times (summers, spring break)

Internet

  • Average internet users (moderately savvy)
  • Know how to find information online relatively quickly
  • Like to research online before making decisions

Motivations

  • Finding healthy and engaging programs for their children, especially in summers.
  • Enriching their children’s lives with the arts
  • Finding family activities

Behaviors

  • Who comes to the Move Your Tale (MYT) website:
    • Parents of children currently participating in MYT
    • Parents who attend MYT events (e.g., Teen Improv Night)
    • Parents interested in MYT
    • Community members interested in MYT events or the MYT performers
  • Why they visit the Move Your Tale website:
    • To find information about camps, classes, and events
    • To register their children for camps/classes
  • Attitudes they arrive with:
    • Sometimes in a hurry
    • Eager to find a program for their children
    • Looking forward to having their children out of the house for a period of time
    • Somewhat tired (mentally and physically) – this is just an observation I had while conducting interviews.
  • How they feel about the website
    • Easy to navigate
    • Like the colors
    • Wish it was mobile friendly
    • Like the simplicity

Needs

  • Easy to find information about camps, classes, events, and instructors
  • Online registration
  • Easy to view on mobile devices

Tasks

  • Find a program/camp/class suitable for their children
  • Find event information for a particular event (e.g., What’s the Story Steve?)
  • Register their children for camps/classes

Desires

  • Online payment for camp/class registration
  • More photos of their children

So there’s the breakdown. The data seems redundant, right? With the business being so small and offerings so few, it makes sense that the the different types of data would be repetitive.

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