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A User Persona is a profile of the typical user of a product or service, not to be confused with a buyer persona, i.e. the person making the buying decision. It is created by analyzing data on existing and potential customers to identify common elements and trends. A User Persona includes a sample name and photo, a brief description, demographic information, frustrations, goals and motivations, online and offline behavior.

Marketing, sales, product development, and customer service departments use the User Persona to interact with and cater to their customers in more effective ways. Other benefits include awareness of the issues that customers are facing and possible solutions, filling knowledge gaps about the industry, and understanding customer motivations. The best practices for developing a User Persona include:

  • talking to real people, especially existing customers;
  • asking tough questions that might not give a positive answer;
  • looking at all the data not just snapshots;
  • linking aspects of the persona to a product feature.