User profiles play a vital role in shaping products and choosing navigation, features and how communication takes place in a system.
But what are user profiles?
User profile also known as persona is a fictional user for your product or service. You can create them by identifying and segmenting your user audience. One needs to create a real user profile every one of them (make them appear real via names, characteristics and snaps)
Why you need user profiles?
Replying to this simple question will place you on the right path. “Do you have any idea what your users require?”
If yes, then you know who your users are – or at least you have a little idea of who they are. Do your users before to an average middleclass family? What age group do your users fit in?
So, if you still think that you know your user well, then question yourself if he is tech savvy or has computer knowledge? What is that he likes about your product? Is it the features or its simple to use function?
Making user profiles help you to know how your average customers think like. It allows you to get a glimpse of user motivation, objectives and needs. So, if in the coming time, you want to make finance management product simple to use, then your CEO is going to love you for it.
The more user profiles, the better it is
Making a user profile is not a one-man task. The reason behind it is that when one starts creating a user profile, it is more or less a replication of their own. So, if a team is working on making user profiles, the profiles align lesser and lesser to everyone individually in the group.
You have one more reason to this. You need a higher number of people to work on the product to get involved so that they are ready to the defined user profiles. When making user profiles two types of groups emerge – one who knows about the user and the others who don’t. Marketing team, advertising groups, sales personnel, business strategists are the people who think rationally like an average user. While the engineering team, architects, web designers, visual and interface designers are the groups which require to find out about the user.
The concept is easy. The interaction designer will desire that the user to use a feature with great simplicity, lower ambiguity and less dialogue. He may not acknowledge the fact whether that feature is really essential for the user or not. The interface designer thinks that the user will love the dropdown menu effect but may not see that it proves to be a problem for the users who wants to speed up things.
So, when all comes together to make a user profile, it may prove to be a richly defined profile and also wipe out any preconceptions which a specific production segment may lead to.
Step by step procedure to make a user profile
So, now when the importance of user profiles is clear to you, you will surely want to know the steps to create it. Below here is the step by step procedure.
- Get user population samples: Select samples or user community cross section representatives.
- Lower the profile ranges: Narrow your list to 3 to 4 profiles which are average from the articular chosen samples.
- Try to define more specifically: Include names, get stock pictures, add description to the user profiles – add physical, emotional and mental specs. Add some life to the ID, their age, hobbies, lifestyle, a little detail about their family, house, income, job, interests as well as pets. Try stating all this from their perspective. Express their favourites and what they dislike. Be realistic and innovative.
- Provide profile objectives: The most significant component of the user profile is its motivating objectives and the aims for using the product and service. Think about the various kinds of objectives:
- Practical objectives: outcome as viewed as a regular pattern. Ignoring problems, meeting customers requirement and getting a solution
- Business objectives: How will a user profile affect business objectives- market share, growth and security, profitability and competition.
- End goals: productivity, efficacy, higher quality, solutions, achievement factor and benefits.
- Experience objectives: How will the user feel when he will use the product – content, happy, unsatisfied or confident?
Why is user profile so important?
Well, you can commence with a simple situation. It is to maintain generic user data like fist name, last name, contact details, place and demographics etc. Well 10 years before this much information has been sufficient. User profile was nothing more than just a side note for IT assignments.
The next essential factor is the variance of user specific details. It several applications have to store on a temporary or permanent basis to make sure their basic functionality targets right user base.
And lastly, the unpredictability and versatility of the upcoming wave of user profile requisitions which the system needs to handle: either because of the addition of the new applications or with the development of public website or because of change in business processes and additional personalization factors are the major parameters for the operational ability of the system or due to user demand of new features which are more and more and customized in context of the present apps.
So, identification of user profile helps to work more purposefully and successfully.