What are personas? 7 steps to create it.

what are personas

Do you know what persona means?

In Latin persona means mask it could also be a character played by an actor.

The critical question here is why this “mask” creation is extremely important when we are talking about UX Design.

In that case, a persona represents your ideal user. Through interviews and behavior research you can define precisely who is your user describing personality, goals, frustrations, skills and environment.

Something between 2 and 5 personas is more than enough to help you to perceive your prime target, by developing a link among you, your design and the public.

Let’s picture the following scenario. You are responsible for creating an e-commerce/app to sell makeup to elderly ladies.

You must ask yourself how can you engage elderly people with technology?

It is such a formidable challenge, isn’t it?

comments and reviews

1 – Comments and reviews

Take a look at the comments and reviews areas in other apps/sites and try to encounter someone that could be your target.


2 – Understanding

You need to understand what kind of makeup they are buying and how other companies are attaining them.


3 – Create your first persona

Anna is aged 62, retired bank manager, married, she has one daughter, one son and three grandchildren.

She is used to going to hair salons twice a month and also to the dermatologist sometimes because she is taking care of her skin.

It is just a random overview now we will start to go deep on it.


4 – Interviews

Interviews, basically you ask some key questions to figure out how your design can solve the problem, but what questions?

Question 1 – Please describe your lifestyle

Question 2 – How many days per week do you wear makeup?

Question 3 – How many times per month do you go to hair salons?

Question 4 – Would you download an app that shows you the best makeup products for your skin colour, type, allergies, etc.

Question 5 – Would you download an app that takes your pictures and shows colours that will match your fashion style?

Question 6 – Are you used to this kind of technology?

Ok, you can ask as many questions as you reckon are important, but let’s move on.


5 – Realize different conducts.

What activities typically do they do on a daily basis?

Do they have any motivations?

Are they capable of handling this new technology or will they need some support?


6 – Organize the information

Now you have everything, let’s develop in this case 3 personas.

Persona 1


Aged 62


One daughter, one son and three grandchildren.

Used to go to hair salons twice a month.

She wears makeup every day.

She goes to the gym three times per week.

Former bank manager.


She loves shopping.

She embraces new technologies.

She thinks the app could make her save money and time to spend with her family.

Persona 2


Aged 85,


Two sons,

Two grandchildren.

She lives in a home care.

The hairdresser goes to her every month.

She loves makeup.

She has a disability and can’t walk without support.

Former seamstress.

She doesn’t like technology.

Is Sofia a user?

Naturally not, but it always has a but.

Persona 3

Julia (Sofia granddaughter)

Aged 20,


Law student,

She lives with her housemates.

She enjoys makeup and wears it every day.

She loves Technology.

She goes to the hair salon every week.

She would love to download an app that helps her to make up her beloved grandmother.

She visits her every Sunday.

Is Julia a potential user? 

Definitely yes


7 – Defining persona types

The last step is to designate personas types.

I’m used to separating into three categories: Primary/Secondary/Tertiary.

Primary — Anna — This is our primary focus, a huge target because people aged between 60 and 70 are today very engaged in technology.

Secondary — Julia — Represents not a direct user, however, she will use the app to help her grandmother.

Tertiary — Sofia — She is not a user, although because of her, Julia will download the app.

To conclude, creating personas helps you to correctly identify your target. In the beginning, you would not think that an app created for elderly people could be downloaded by someone aged 20, by doing it your design will be more profitable, in addition, it will avoid lots of rework.

This is a crucial step to your UX Design process, click here to understand better what UX Design is.

Wrote by: Rafael de Rezende Basso

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