How to Create User Personas for Your Mobile App?

April 1, 2021

Users are always looking for technology that makes their life easier. When downloading an app, people expect that the app will give them a smooth experience and cater to their specific needs. Businesses developing an app have to consider their target audience first. They need to take into account the audience’s needs, interests, problems, and preferences to design an app that speaks to them. When you think about your users first, it enables you to design products that they connect with and would like to use regularly.

A user persona can help you develop an app which can target users, solve their problems and provide them with a great user experience. User experience is an important element of app design. Good user experience can encourage more users to interact with your app daily. To create something that is personalized for your audience, you need to first understand them. And user personas help you do just that. In this article, we will discuss how to create user personas for your apps.

But first, let us better understand what user personas are about.

What is a User Persona?

A user persona is a fictional representation of your target customer. Even though they are fictional, they are still based on research and data about the type of customer you cater to. When creating a user persona, you come up with a fictional name for a person and build their personas with characteristics based on the research about your target audience. You will need to assess your customer’s demographics, psychographics, buying behavior, interests, challenges, motivation and more to create an accurate user profile.

With user personas you can target the right customers and create products that are personalized for them. You can understand what challenges they face and how your app will help solve their problems. Creating user personas is useful for all departments in your company like product development, design, marketing etc. All members of the team can have a clear idea of who they are catering to and it will help them build a product that resonates with the target customers. Some businesses may cater to more than one target audience in this case they will need to create more than one user persona. It depends on your business and the people you want to target.

Here is how user personas can be useful for your apps.

Why is User Persona Important For Apps?

User personas are important too when it comes to understanding a customer. By getting to know your target audience you can design a user-centric app your customers connect with. Here are the reasons why businesses need a user persona for mobile apps.

App design and UX

Design and UX or user experience are important factors in making an app successful. Without a good design you will lose customers. User experience determines the success of your design. An app should be aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, fast and give the users what they are looking for. A user persona is the perfect tool that designers and developers can use to understand what their audiences want. It can give insights into the challenges users are facing and how an app can help them.

You can study user behavior and see how users are using apps. The things they like in an app or the things they wish were improved. The type of layout, colors or fonts you use should also resonate with your users. User personas can help you create better products that are based on the preferences of your target audience. This can improve app engagement and downloads.

Connect with target audience

When you are empathetic to your audience’s needs, you create products that connect with them. Each business is going to have a lot of competition in the market, but what will set you apart is how well you respond to the needs of your target customers. With user personas you can place yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. This will give you a clear vision about what your customers are expecting from your app. For an app to be successful, it needs to connect with the target audience.

If your audience doesn’t connect to your app they may not download it, or may uninstall it quickly. User personas are useful in building connections with your target customers and increase app conversions.

Gather data on target audience

To put together a user persona you will need to do research to gather data and insights on your customers. Because you are building a user persona you will gather insights on various aspects of your customer’s journey, buying behavior, challenges and more. When creating a user persona, you can arrange all this information and create a profile that clearly displays your idea customer. You can organize all this information and create a customer that is accurate.

Ensure consistent information across teams

As discussed above all the departments in your company should clearly understand their users. When you create a user persona all the teams will be on the same page. There will be no confusion about what the target customer looks like. This will help create a consistent flow of information that each team can use when working on their respective areas.

For example, a product development team will need user personas when they are designing and creating the app that connects with their audience. While the marketing team will use it to create app marketing strategy that is personalized for their audience. Each team will communicate smoothly with each other and they will have a clear vision about their ideal customer. Building a user persona can help all the teams come together and build a cohesive app that is user centric.

How to Create User Personas?

Research your target market

The first step is to conduct an in-depth research on your target audience. Research is important to understand your customers. With the insight gained from research, the product development team can come up with a design that inspires your audience. Find out their demographics, psychographics, interests, challenges, buying behaviour and more. To collect these insights, you can start interviewing people who fall under your target market. Conduct one-on-one interviews or prepare surveys. You can ask them about similar apps they have used and what their experience has been like. Adopt the positive things that people liked about other apps. The negative feedback is an opportunity for you, as you can learn from the mistakes of your competitors.

Select questions that will help you assess what your users are looking for in an app and what are the challenges they face. These questions can help you take important design or UX decisions. Another way to research your audience is through social media. Take a look at your competitor’s social media account. Social listening can give you many insights about what the customers are saying about that app. You can go through the comments sections to find out customer opinions. Moreover, social media can give you insights on your audience’s interests and whom or what they like to follow. Also, take a look at reviews people give on apps that are your competitors. All this can help you build a user persona that is accurate, thorough and helpful in making decisions.

Find out customer goals and motivations

Understand the main goals and motivations of your target customers. You need to know what will drive them to use your app. The goals that your customers have can be related to their personal or professional lives. You need to see how your app can fit into their lives and help them accomplish their goals. For example, if you are designing an app that is in the health and fitness category, and your user’s goal is to eat healthy meals, you will want to include features that help them track their meals. Find opportunities in how you can help your users achieve their goals.

If the majority of people in your target audience want similar features, then you need to consider including them in your app. This is what will motivate your target audience to download and use your app. When customers see that your app can help them achieve their goals, they will definitely want to give it a try.

Identify user challenges

Along with goals you also need to determine what challenges your users face. This can give you valuable insights on what you users expect from an app. Maybe they have used your competitor’s app and did not find what they were looking for. There could be issues with the design, UX or the app may lack certain features. Customers may also face other challenges, like, considering the example above they may find it hard to be regular in tracking their meals. It could be that they are busy throughout the day and often forget to track a meal. To address this issue, you can include notifications in your app that remind them to track their meals throughout the day. These could be small issues that customer’s face but providing a solution will help them connect with your app. This is why understanding these specific challenges is very important to help you design a great app which is useful.

Create your user persona

Once you have gathered all the information you need on your audience, start putting together all these insights. Give a name to your user persona and then start adding all the information. You can also add an image which will make the persona more realistic. First, add the demographic information like age, location, occupation etc. Then start getting into more specific details about interests, buying behavior, pain-points and more. User personas are specific to your business type. Include details that are specific to your app and business. User personas should paint a clear picture about your ideal customer. The user persona you create should be shared and discussed with all the teams involved in your company.

Map user scenarios

A user scenario is a story that designers create to illustrate how a user may behave to complete a goal or an action. Designers create these scenarios to understand a user’s motivations, challenges, needs and more that will be useful in the designing process. User scenarios help designers visualize how their design or solution would help solve the user’s problem. This enables the designers to focus on the user’s needs and motivations. These are often confused with user stories. User scenarios focus on what experience users will have when they are using these solutions. Using this as a tool design teams can come up with ideas, address user needs and run testing to come with optimal solutions.

You can create these user scenarios once you have formed your user personas. Create scenarios using visuals to narrate the experience of these personas. Use a persona and determine how he/she has a need or problem and how your product would be able to help. Be specific when you create a user scenario. You can use all the information you have gathered during your research including things like a user’s spending habits, challenges they experience daily and more. User scenarios will help your design team generate innovative ideas to create an app that is unique and useful to the users.

App designing and development is a process that has its own challenges. However, creating your user personas can spark great ideas to create a seamless design. A great design depends on how functional an app is. UX is key to having a great design for your app. Get to know your users to create a smooth and pleasant experience for them.

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