CHOW #49– Common Pitfalls in building user persona?

We know User Persona is an incredibly powerful  tool when used properly with UX design philosophies. But, developing a good quality user persona is a time consuming and expensive activity. Some times, these challenges may lead to producing not so great output. Similarly, what are some of the common pitfalls / mistakes in builing user persona?

Suggested Solution:

Here are some of the few common pitfalls in building user persona:
• Rapid Persona
○ Due to time constraints or some other challenges restricting teams ability conduct meaningful user research, teams might come up with half baked Personas. This could lead to potential waster in product developmentl
• Fake Persona
○ To justify a product feature the team have developed or planning to develop, one or more personas could be invented / created. Such fake personas may not represent a real customer. It would just satisfy teams wish to continue with development. Teams should be careful in avoiding Fake personas.
• Averaging
○ Personas are not about covering as much ground as possible. Compared to traditional marketing, we would not use wide ranges like Female aged between 15 and 35. This doesn’t help innovation. We need personas as close to the real customer as possible.
• Rusting Persona
○ Some teams come up with a lot of personas more than actually necessary. Some of the Personas would be a showcase piece never to be used at all. This is waste of effort and energy. Usually, it is better to start with 2 or 3 key personas and grow more only when there is a need.
• Personas exist but real customers are avoided
○ I’ve seen cases where fantastic personas are developed. The team gets very comfortable and confident with that shying away from meeting with real customers. This should be avoided.

From our experience, we could still come up with more patterns.

What do you think?

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