Stories have been a cornerstone of design for thousands of years. The great pyramids were built to provide the Pharoahs with a safe journey to the afterlife. The Acropolis was built as a monument to the people of Athens. The Sistine Chapel is the centerpiece of any visit to Vatican City. Each of these architectural wonders started out as an idea communicated through stories. Just like them, your website or blog begins with the story of your users. Who are they and why do they come to your site? What is their initial motivation and what compels them to return?
Combining personas with user scenarios is an excellent way to get to the heart of a given user story. For example, it’s much easier to understand “Susie is a 32-year old stay at home mom looking for a new online grocery provider” than pouring through reams of disparate data buried in Powerpoint pie charts and user logs. Since they are accessible to everyone, the result is often a more persuasive user experience that effectively supports your marketing goals.
- What are their demographics?
- What influences their buying decisions?
- Who else do they buy from? Who are your competitors?
- What are their hot buttons?
- What pain are they experiencing that your product or service will solve?
- Where are they in the buying process? Did they just hear about you or are they ready to buy now?
- What language do they use?
- What do you want your users to do?
- How will you grab their attention?
- How will you hold it long enough to create interest in your site?
- What visual and contextual clues will build desire for your product or service?
- What will make them want to take action?
- What will happen after they take action?
- What will make them want to return to your site?
How have stories, personas, and scenarios influenced your design decisions? Download and use this persona template to create your own user stories. Who knows, your design just might make history.