Blog Post

The 4 Types of User Personas

There are four distinct perspectives that your personas can adopt to ensure the best overall design of your website. There are goal-directed, role-based, engaging, and fictional personas.

Goal-directed personas focus on what the user wants to do with the product. The objective here is to examine the process that a user would prefer in using your product. What is the user’s expected workflow? To know this, you will need to do the proper research on your user. You need to know what the user hopes to achieve and the motivations for their actions. 

Role-based personas are primarily data-driven focusing on the roles that our users play in the real world. Your users are grouped together based on the functions they perform. Typically, but not always, roles are defined by what someone’s job title is. An individual’s knowledge, skills, and behavior are all taken into account.

Engaging personas have the ability to incorporate both goal-directed and role-based personas within them. These personas are meant to move beyond personas based on stereotypes and create realistic ones that the designer can identify with (much like a character in a story). The process involves examining the user’s emotions, psychology, and backgrounds, then mapping all of that information onto the user’s goals. 

Fictional personas do not require any user research like the three others. Instead, the fictional persona is based on the experience of the ux designer(s). For this persona interactions with the user base and the product are looked at carefully to make assumptions about what the typical user may like. Fictional personas are quite likely to be less accurate than other personas but can be helpful in the early design process.

Creating the aforementioned personas will assist you in better understanding your users’ needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals. To create a great product, you will have to step outside of yourself and understand the different needs that others have. Doing so will allow you to create the best user experience possible for your website.

By Robert H.

Robert is a writer and blogger from Denver, CO.

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