Hey there! And welcome back. Now you know all about user pain points. Next, let's explore personas and why UX designers use them. In UX design, personas are fictional users whose goals and characteristics represent the needs of a larger group of users. Personas can help us identify patterns of behavior in users. These patterns might point to a common pain point that a group of users experiences. While personas are fictional, we don't make these characters up from scratch, we build them based on research. You've got to do your research if you want a set of personas that truly represent your potential users. As you research, you'll form images in your head about who your users are. These will become your personas. Let's build a persona together. First, we'll need to figure out what user group our persona represents. Imagine you're designing a fundraising app that connects nonprofits with volunteers. You do some secondary research and conduct phone interviews with a diverse set of users. Let's say during research, you discover that single professionals in rural areas donate to environmental causes twice as often as single professionals in big cities. You also discover that big city singles are more likely to volunteer than single professionals in rural areas. Based on this, one of your user groups might be owners of environmental nonprofits in rural areas. A user group is a set of people who have similar interests, goals, or concerns. Now that we've identified a solid user group, let's build a persona to represent it. Ready? Meet Tsering Choedon, founder of ourplanet.org. As we build the persona, we want to include her photo and a short biographical sketch. Include things like age, occupation, hometown, marital status, and any other demographic data points that might give us a better sense of who our user group is. So imagine that Tsering is 35, has a BA in English, and lives in Bellevue, Nebraska with her wife and two rescue dogs. After the biosketch comes a bit about her professional goals and day-to-day duties. As a founder of a nonprofit, Tsering probably fills lots of roles like writing grants and talking with city officials about exciting green initiatives. She also keeps residents informed about how and where to recycle their trash. After that, since you're designing an app, you might want to know how comfortable Tsering is at navigating online and working with tech. Let's say she's not so tech savvy, but knows she has to get her nonprofit online if she wants to find more volunteers. Finally, you might want to give her a catchphrase, something she says to inspire herself and her small team every day. For Tsering that might be something like gettin' greener every day. And just like that, your user group turns into a real person that the team can build their app around. Keep in mind each persona you create humanizes a user group for your team. Tsering represents only one persona. You want to build a persona to represent each key user group, and that will take time. Is it worth it to build so many personas? The short answer? Absolutely. Now for the longer answer. Personas build empathy and put a face to the user. They help humanize our users. They give stakeholders a clearer idea of who their users really are and makes the user experience more meaningful. Let's do a little test. When I say to you, there are about 533,000 people over the age of 100 living in the world today, you'll probably find it mildly interesting for a second before promptly forgetting the number. But if I tell you about Mavis Hunter, a competitive runner who only picked up the sport two years ago after turning 100 years old, chances are she makes a longer lasting impression. Why? She makes you feel something the stats can't. She feels like a real person. You want to help her continue to do what she loves. That's the power of personas. In addition, personas tell stories. This is why personas are key to turning an average stakeholder presentation into a story telling experience. If your client is building a new running app, Mavis helps make the case for creating new features or expanding accessibilities for senior citizen athletes. Okay, so personas build empathy and tell stories. But why do you need a whole set of personas? Well, one persona isn't enough to tell all the sides of a design story. As cool as Mavis is, you aren't improving the running app just for her. This is why you need a set of personas. All user groups should be vividly represented. This shows stakeholders the diversity of their user groups, and it lets you test features against them. This leads us to the third reason for why personas are worth it. Personas stress-test designs. Let's go back to the running app. What works for Mavis might not work for Diane, a working mother of three children under the age of five. What matters most to Mavis isn't the same as what matters most to Diane. Mavis wants accessibility, while our working mom wants time. Personas make sure we designers create something that benefits a wide range of users. Now that you know what a persona is, what personas do for UX designers, and how to build a persona, let's get to know how personas help us tell a user story.