User personas are fictional representations of the people who will engage with your product. They're based on research and can encapsulate the needs, goals, and behaviors of your customers.
Why are user personas important?
User personas help you gain empathy for the users you don’t see or talk to on a daily basis. The exercise of building user personas helps you answer a fundamental question, “Who are you building and optimizing your product-led experience for?”
Crucially, user personas help design teams effectively identify and ideate around the individuals who will be using the product. Personas can help teams improve every stage in the Product-Led Growth Flywheel—from deciding which features to build, to improving overall user experience.
5 steps for creating user personas:
Step 1: Start with user research.
Conduct user interviews, surveys, or calls to understand how users actually use your product, as well as their work environment, roles, and challenges.
Distill your findings into individual personas that are distinct and memorable.
Include background, goals, needs, behaviors, and frustrations for each persona.
We discourage assigning a specific name (e.g., Pete the Product Manager) to your user persona, as this practice presents an opportunity to introduce bias into building and improving your product-led experience.
Instead, name your personas after their primary goal or role. For example, two of Appcues’ personas could be “The Flow Builder” (the one responsible for designing and publishing flows) and “The Executive Sponsor” (the final approver for purchasing a tool like Appcues).