How To Create A Customer Persona

July 25, 2013

How To Create A Customer PersonaCreating a customer persona is more applicable to Graphic Design than you may think.

As defined by Visual Communication designer Jesse Snyder, a customer persona is a fabricated model of a typical end user. An end user can refer to anyone who buys or uses a company’s finished product, whether it is a physical or digital product. Personas may help companies bridge the gap between themselves and their customers.

Though personas are typically used by marketing professionals, graphic designers may construct personas to aid them in understanding the company they’re working for. As they design advertisements, logos or other products for a company, they can keep the persona in mind – and appeal to it directly.

Use these quick tips to construct a customer persona:

Start with market research. These facts may allow you to understand the company’s pre-existing consumer body. These customers can provide you with a lot of information on the types of people buying the company’s product.

Be mindful of the demographics in this research. Ask yourself:

Compare the company’s demographics with competitor demographics and the demographics of the surrounding area. These facts may be insightful as you begin designing. For example, if you are designing for a demographic aged 18 to 25, your design may be more youthful and less formal. You may use this research to convey a particular tone that coincides with the company’s brand.

Fully develop the persona. James Heaton, a marketer with the Tronvig Group, notes that a persona is a mental model, “an imaginary person with a name, history and story who has a way of doing things.” You must brainstorm how this persona thinks, feels and behaves.

Consider the following questions about your persona:

For reference, you may also consider talking to friends or co-workers about what kind of consumers they are and what kind of consumers they think would shop at the company you are designing for. Even consider what type of consumer you are. Think about your shopping process and how can that translate to another person.

Especially if you are working alone, you may want to take your persona to a group of company employees or other graphic designers. Pitch your persona to them – and allow them to ask you follow-up questions.

Discuss why you made certain choices (such as occupation, race, income and other background facts). Having to answer questions about this information may allow you to fully flesh out your persona. And, working with a group may bring up questions that you had not thought of on your own.

Heaton notes that a good persona should have enough psychological detail to allow you to see products from their point of view. Like a method actor, you should be able to adopt your persona’s views. You should be able to evaluate your design with their opinions, needs and preferences in mind. When you have created a successful, well-rounded persona, it may act as another person in the room – providing its own feedback and reaction to your design concept.

Talk to your Graphic Design degree program instructors on how to construct personas, why personas are helpful, and how to begin utilizing this helpful tool in class.