To Construct A Persona

Become an Expert in Creating Good Persona with this Article!

Zakiy Saputra
6 min readMar 22, 2021
Source: svstudioart —

Quick! Readers, let’s have an icebreaker first! When you read the title and saw the word ‘Persona’, what’s the first thing that springs to your mind?

One of these two might be your answer, but they won’t be our discussion — for today!

For designers and developers, a persona can be described as a representation of your product customers. The creation of a persona is purely fictional (so please, do not put an actual person’s personal data on your persona!). By having a persona, we would have an easier time understanding the needs and expectations of our target users, while avoiding their frustrations at the same time on designing our product.

How does one create a persona?

Many ways can be done to create a persona. The methods available are varied and easy to implement, but always make sure that your persona is based on real data. At the end of the day, the persona you created is supposed to be representative of your users. A persona that is created on the basis of pure assumption wouldn’t give you an easier time in understanding your customers and could actually backfire!

On collecting real data for your persona, the first method that can be used is conducting survey. On conducting surveys, you need to be sure that the survey offers answers that you are looking for, unbiased, and are taken by sufficient participants to be then analyzed. The second method is web analytics, where you can extract data from social media and similar/rival products to grasp your audience needs. The third is interviews, this method acts more as an enhancement based on the information you got from surveys and web analytics, where you can interview some participants after grouping your data to gain more insight into your user needs. And lastly, you can also create a persona based on assumptions.

…wait, but you said earlier on that we can’t create a persona under assumption!

You’re correct, but what I said before that’s not allowed is pure assumptions! On the last method, a persona created based on assumptions should be made from an educated guess. These guesses can be obtained by understanding deeply the product, meetings with stakeholders and the company, and observations based on past experiences. By using one or more of these methods I have explained, we can create a persona that represents our audience nicely.

How many personas do I need?

Now, this is an interesting question. Earlier on, I have mentioned that the data you’ve collected should be grouped based on their similarities. When a group of data becomes significant enough, you can safely conclude that said group needs its own persona. The bigger your audience is, chances are you need more persona to perfectly represent your audiences.

But that brings more question! How do I group them?

Grouping data can be based on many reasons. The easiest one is role, where 2 different roles would need a different persona to represent them as each role has an entirely different task with each other. For example, take an e-commerce application where there are a buyer and seller, these are two different roles with different jobs. Second is demographics, as different ages could result in different intent and needs on using a product, take a teenager and an adult in social media, as an example. Lastly, we can group data based on goals, motivation, and pain points. These are a bit harder to group than the previous ones due to them being more implicit, but are still important to follow and cater to! For example, a group of audiences might have a hard time adjusting themselves to technology compared to the others. In this case, it would be important to make sure that our products are easily accessible to such as creating an onboarding program.

How we (finally) construct a persona

Exhibit 1: Our Project Persona, made by Kak Anit

Here above is a persona that we used for our project, made be our scrum master. A persona must have goals, motivation, and pain points, but also should have a compelling biography. At a glance, humanizing your persona might sound redundant, but it’s actually the most important part of the persona! (well, that doesn’t allow you to not write one of the three points I mentioned before though!) A humanized persona allows us to relate and sympathize more with, and since design thinking includes Emphatize, a humanized persona would make it easier for you to solve their problems and in turn — solve your audience problems too! Just don’t put too much information on their biography such as their favorite food unless your product is food!

Without a biography, your persona will be as boring as a mob character in RPG Games… | Source:

Integrating Our Persona to UI/UX Design: My Story

Integrating personas you have created into your UI/UX Design can be veryyy easy or veryyy hard depending on the scenario you envision your persona are doing. Defined by Adobe, A scenario is an imaged situation that describes how a persona would interact with a product in a particular context to achieve its end goal(s). The key for easier UI/UX Design based on a persona is to Emphatize, which can be done by humanizing our persona that I explained in the previous section of this article.

How persona works — source:

In my project (Hepi Circle for Admin), after our Scrum Master has created a persona for our product, the developer team studies the persona given and considers whether it is appropriate or not. After some independent research based on similar cases (studies of other companies administrator, for example!), we decided that the persona is indeed appropriate. So, we followed to the next step.

On to the UI/UX Design. From the persona, we know that Dian’s personality is structured, tidy, and practical. So it is important that our design needs to appease Dian’s personality (just like not handing a tidy person a messy chocolate box as a present, we must not give a tidy customer a dirty application UI/UX!). Below are our proposed Homepage UI Design, made with revisions from our client and professor:

Exhibit 2: Our Revised Proposed UI Design for Hepi Circle Homepage

In this design prototype, tasks were divided under equal sizes into fitting categories with easily discerned words to understand by the users. The UI was made sleek, elegant, and simple, minimizing clutter and time needed to understands each command, as stated by Dian’s motivation. UI/UX Design was also done to product backlog asked by Hepi Circle, fulfilling Dian’s goal in seeing and updating seller’s information. Below is an example of our UI/UX Design on updating a user gift claim status:

Exhibit 3: Our Revised Proposed UI Design for Hepi Circle Update Reward

Not only personality, goals, and motivation needs to be considered, we also need to consider a persona's pain points and avoid them while designing our UI. From the above persona, we learned that Dian hates to have Hepi Circle data integration not done in real-time. Therefore, we created a design to ensure Dian that her updates are integrated, real-time:

Exhibit 4: Our Revised Proposed UI Design for Hepi Circle Update Notifications

In this design, users are notified when their changes in accepting or rejecting a Hepi Circle agent application have been changed to ‘Diterima’ or ‘Ditolak’. To avoid users thinking that their changes has failed to be saved, the cross on “Agen telah berhasil ditolak!” is colored green, indicating the rejection has been saved. By this design, we can ensure Dian that her changes are indeed saved.

In conclusion, a persona helps you to understand your users better, which helps in creating a better product for their needs. A bad product would need revisions, which would cost more in time and money compared to a good product. So? Create your persona, and humanize them! What are you waiting for?