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What is a user persona in user experience research?



A user persona is an empathy tool for understanding target users in a product design process. It enables us to easily connect with the target users' thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

User persona

A user persona can be seen as a character representing target users. It holds the data that has gone through interviews, and surveys on the target audience, limitations, struggles, goals, and expectations. This will help in building something compatible with users' needs.

User persona template

Explanation of template

  • Name: Name of user representing target audience as recorded in the interview.
  • Bio: Basic information about the user. This includes: age, gender, education, occupation, and address.
  • Goals: User needs or expectations from the product point of view.
  • Frustration: User's constraint on trying to carry out tasks or meeting needs.
  • User summary: This contains a summary of the user, their information, and characteristics which help identify the target audience age bracket in the population.

Steps for user persona research

  1. Carry out primary user research: This is the initial research done in any research case study. This could be qualitative or quantitative research as needed by the product. Some research tools include: an online survey, user interviews, focus group interviews, etc.
  2. Organize research findings: Identify recurring user groups through repeated themes, behaviors, and characteristics. Group your findings into categories and let one user represent the target audience for the product.
  3. Map persona: Now with the identified users, map out data for the identified user and investigate the number of target users needed. Where one user represents one user group, we can identify the number of needed user groups.
  4. Visualize in the template: This stage involves adding the user data to the template. Every target audience will have a representing user on the persona template.

Benefits of a user persona

  1. Make informed design decisions on product design: A user persona helps relate more to users and helps uncover needed data needed in making decisions in the design process.
  2. Enhance the excellence of the product for meeting user needs: User persona research creates room for scalability and iteration in the product design process, and this leads to excellence.
  3. Creates room for user involvement in the product design process: The user persona research process allows users to get involved in the product design process.



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