A persona is a group of users who have similar purchasing habits, use of technology or products, customer service preferences, lifestyle choices, and other comparable behaviors. A “type” has similar behaviors, attitudes, and motivations regardless of age, gender, education, or other normal demographics. In fact, personalities cover a wide range of demographics.
Personas are created by conducting one-on-one interviews with a diverse group of people from the target audience (s). After about 30 interviews for a typical study focusing on one brand or product, patterns in the data acquired from the interviews begin to emerge. These interviews are most effective when performed in a natural setting, such as the respondent’s home or workplace. In this approach, ethnographic research methodologies can be used to acquire information about the users’ settings, revealing information about their behaviors, motives, and views that would not otherwise be revealed at a survey, focus group, or one-on-one interview in a market research facility. The researcher usually starts with a broad discussion and then narrows it down to the utilization of specific items or services.
After that, over the course of one to two weeks, the research data is analyzed. The researchers put comparable responses together after identifying extremes in user behavior. Each user type is defined by patterns of behavior that show how they interact with one another at the extremes.