User personas explained

Explaining to a young user

As we get down to the nitty-gritty of the Web Redevelopment Project, you will hear us talk about user personas more and more. But what is a user persona?

Steve Mulder, author of The User is Always Right, defines a user persona as a:

realistic character sketch representing one segment of a website’s targeted audience. Each persona is an archetype serving as a surrogate for an entire group of real people.

Simply put, user personas provide us with an idea of who our users are and what goals they have when interacting with our website.

These personas are then supported with data gathered from various sources, giving us a complete picture of who our user is and what makes them tick.

So why are user personas so important? At the beginning of this project, we set ourselves the challenge of creating a user-centered website that would be based on user journeys and experience. In order to do this, we need to understand who our user is, and user personas help us do precisely that.

During this initial discovery phase, stakeholders have been tasked with developing user personas for the different types of users they have identified. PreviousNext will then collate this information along with other data and use it when developing the content strategy and structure of our new website.

To help you visualise what a user persona could look like, we have included a few below as infographics – because everybody loves an infographic!

Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge.

Future Student InfographicCurrent Student infographicInternational Student Infographic