Persona Based Web Design
It is always a good thing to design your site with your visitors in mind. Personas help you to do that.
From wikepedia, the definition of personas:: “Fictitious characters that are created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic that might use a site or product. Personas are given characteristics and are assumed to be in particular environments based on known users’ requirements so that these elements can be taken into consideration when creating scenarios for conceptualizing a site.”
How do you develop a persona?
Start by talking to your customer service people. They talk to customers everyday. They probably know more about your customers than anyone else.
Develop three or four personas for your website.
You could use these as basic guidelines:
Very fashionable, goes to the hippest restaurants, loves to shop, and expects the best things in life. She is spontaneous, flambouyant, and lives for the moment. She wants to look good, feel good, and doesn’t worry about much else. She does not care about the features or specifications of your product. She wants to know if it will make her look good, feel good, or make her life easier.
Very dependable, spends his money very frugally. Seldom eats out or shops. When he does buy anything, he is very methodical, and researches every buying decision thoroughly. He is very interested in features, benefits, and specifications. He will read everything on your website and make an informed decision. It might take two,three. or more visits before he decides to buy. Ted wants to know if your product will satisfy a need he has, work with what he already has, or save him money.
After you develop your personas, develop navigational paths through your site, for each of the different personas you have developed. Use trigger words as navigation links, so that each persona will take a different path through your site.
If Natalie Cool likes fashionable, make her path flashy, feel good, and upbeat. Don’t waste her time talking about features, or specs. Make it quick and easy for her to buy.
For Ted Thorough’s path, make sure to include features, benefits, specifications, and any other information you have. He will read it all, and have questions. Make sure he can find the answers on your website.