When you first studied the fundamentals of effective writing, you probably learned what an audience is. For example, “My audience is people who like cats,” or “I am writing for people interested in learning about the Spanish Inquisition.” Knowing who your audience is helps you to tailor your style and the information you provide in a way that your specific audience will understand best.
However, it may not be that simple. You can sum up your audience in one lump statement, but doing so prevents you from understanding the diverse needs and qualities of those who visit your site. Fortunately, creating personas for your site is a great way to understand your audience and be a more effective writer.
What is a Persona?
In the context of web design and usability, a persona is a hypothetical user of your site based on real information you have gathered about your audience. Step Two Designs says personas “act as ‘stand-ins’ for real users and help guide decisions about functionality and design.”
Typically, you should have three to five personas that represent your site’s audience. According to Boxcar Marketing, ideally the personas you create should represent both your primary users and your secondary users. These personas should be similar in that they share a relationship with your site, but should be different enough to help you recognize variances between the groups actually viewing your site. Continue reading Understanding Your Audience With Personas