How to build a user persona

I am the sole UX-person for a startup. I have never been in a role like this before. But, I tend to figure things out. I taught myself code, after all. Here’s how I learned to build a user persona. Thanks for being interested in my journey!

Me and my user persona (via GIPHY)

Understand the value

If you’re working on a team, you will want to share why you have endeavored to create a persona. Otherwise it might look like you are trying to engage in some imaginary play.

Here are some benefits to building a user persona.

  • It’s easier to talk about than raw data
  • It’s a quick, approachable representation of lots of info
  • It grounds your work in something human
  • It answers the question “who are we building for?”
  • It eliminates the possibility of dev teams building for different, imagined users

You have probably already encountered a user persona in corona-times named Karen. User personas are all around us!

Do some background research

For more information about user personas, their benefits, and examples, check out these YouTube videos.

Also, I recommend reading NN Group’s article on Personas.

Take some notes

Writing is an act of synthesis. Take what you’ve learned, sketch some examples, look at the data you have to work with. Poke around in a notebook.


Try it

Now, you should have an idea (1) why you’d want to build a user persona, (2) how to explain the added-value to your team, and (3) what to include in a user persona.

Good luck! ✌🏽



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