Seniors and Millennials use the internet much differently. Does your website reflect that?
When you’re considering building a new website (or redesigning your current site) it’s critical that you make sure you’re creating a site that not only effectively portrays your company’s image and culture—but also is designed to be received well by your target audiences.
Personas are created early in the website development process. They are characters (fictitious people) created to reflect a large segment of users of the site. They are attributed characteristics that match many of the real people you know visit the site. Often the attributes are very detailed and reflect not just their habits related to that business—but other peripheral information that could be useful.
For example, for a casino website you might create, “Bob is 65, a retired farmer from South Dakota. He and his wife are empty-nesters and love to travel when they get the chance. They will splurge when the mood strikes, but are usually careful with every dollar. He visits CasinoWebsite.com to learn about events, food options, discounts/special offers, and hotel/RV information.”
Adding fictitious names and photos are usually the final step.
Personas will never reflect every user. However, they should reflect a significant percentage of your website visitors. The way a senior uses the internet vs. the way a millennial uses the internet are very different—and effective website design needs to capture that difference.
Having personas will allow you to:
• Create a sitemap and wireframes that will reflect the needs of your users
• Develop content and design that will be more attractive to your customers
• Provide an overall better user experience
Keep in mind—you should also consider future visitors to the site when creating personas—especially if the reason for the redesign is to capture new customers.
Personas are also a good pass-off to the client—who will often be in charge of their own content once the site is launched. They will serve as a reminder not to get too wrapped up with one target at the expense of others, and to ensure well-rounded content delivery.
Personas make for great front-end discussion at the beginning of website development, and are useful during (and after) development.