A really useful, free persona template. (PDF format)
A bit of background
We wanted to help our clients to create some excellent user experiences and engage with their staff on their new Interact intranet, so I set about putting a great staff persona template together.
Realised that it might be quite useful to share our template with you, so that you can benefit from creating brilliant personas too, which in turn will help you create great user experiences.
Personas are realistic but fictional user profiles for an intranet or website. The profiles represent a broad range of needs of groups of users, in terms of their goals and personal characteristics. The personas act as ‘stand-ins’ for real users and help guide decisions about functionality and design.
Personas identify the user motivations, expectations and goals responsible for driving online behaviour, and bring the artificial users to life by giving them names, personalities and even a photo.
When specifying any structure, features, functionality or new processes every team member can use the personas to work out the advantages and disadvantages any new item will have on each user. This in turn naturally leads to better user interface design. With everyone using the same baseline, it makes planning more straight forward and efficient.
Although personas are fictitious, they are based on knowledge of real users. User research should be conducted to create each one, which ensures they represent end users rather than the opinion of the person writing the personas.