How to create personas

A persona is “a summary representation of the system’s intended users, often described as real people” (Brown, 2011, p. 34). In fact, personas are fairly easy to create.

What makes a good persona

  • Represent a major user group for your website 
  • Express and focus on the major needs and expectations of the most important user groups 
  • Give a clear picture of the user's expectations and how they're likely to use the site 
  • Aid in uncovering universal features and functionality 
  • Describe real people with backgrounds, goals, and values 

One thing to remember: personas aren't born from nothing. For them to be representative of your audience, you need to base them on surveys, market research, interviews, etc. (Brown, 2011). A good persona description is not a list of tasks or duties (“Personas 101,” 2011). 

Also, don’t forget to limit yourself to the main audiences; only create three or four personas. 

It is better to paint with a broad brush and meet the needs of the larger populations than try to meet the needs of everyone (, 2013).

Persona example

Photo of a man
Mark Cohen
Director, Human Resources


  • 44 years old
  • Has 2 children
  • Married
  • Has a B.A. in psychology from McGill and an M.Sc. in industrial relations from the University of Montreal.


Mark is looking for different continuing study programs in order to train some employees.


Mark is mostly browsing websites from work on his laptop, but from time to time he takes his phone out when he get's bored on the commute.


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