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Tools: Personas

persona squareWhat?

Personas are characters based on users, bringing together lots of information about different users or similar types of user to create a single user that represents a group. They are archetypes of individuals, not stereotypes and are made as rounded as possible.



  • are a way to communicate ethnographic research in a quick and digestible way
  • focus on the needs, goals and behaviours of real users
  • evaluate suggestions
  • de-personalise conversations
  • improve user-centred thinking
  • help to focus on which people the service is supporting and why


Personas are typically developed from research, synthesising and sharing large amounts of user research into an easily understandable format. Personas can incorporate photos and text and cover information such as occupation, home life, family, interests and, most importantly, needs.


Filed under: TOOLS

About the Author

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I am an Associate at the Young Foundation working on the Building Local Activism programme funded through the Big Lottery Fund's People Powered Change initiative.

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