A persona describes one category of the target users of your system as a fictitious but realistic person with goals and needs.
It is useful because it summarises the user, their role, their skills and aptitudes, their preferences, and their goals. Personas give rise to user stories, and keep the user stories focused on the goals of real users.
The persona needs to include a name and a picture, so that developers, business analysts, and testers can relate to it as if it was a real person.
It should include the following details:
- their demographic characteristics (e.g. age, disability) that might affect their interaction with the product, and their requirements in using it
- their role in using the software (e.g. admin, editor, contributor, supervisor)
- what their job title is
- activities they do in their spare time which might affect their performance (either beneficially or adversely)
- their goals in using the software
- common tasks they will want to carry out using the software
- Roman Pichler, Roman’s Persona Template. Pichler Consulting. http://www.romanpichler.com/tools/persona-template/ and http://www.romanpichler.com/blog/persona-template-for-agile-product-management/
- Lene Nielsen (2007), Ten Steps to Personas. HCI Vistas, Article INS-24./July 2007, volume III, 2007-2008. http://www.hceye.org/HCInsight-Nielsen.htm
- Roman Pichler (2014), From Personas to User Stories. Pichler Consulting, 13 August 2014 http://www.romanpichler.com/blog/personas-epics-user-stories/
- William Hudson. 2013. User stories don't help users: introducing persona stories. Interactions 20, 6 (November 2013), 50-53. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2517668 http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/november-december-2013/user-stories-dont-help-users-Introducing-persona-stories