It is important that the design team and the organisation deeply understand who the user of the design outcome will be. Design Thinking is human-centred, so the human perspective is very important for a successful outcome of the project. There may be more than one type of persona for your product/service. It may be necessary to create several if they have differing needs.


what is it

The Persona Map is a visual understanding of the target user/customer that will help your team understand what success for them will look like.



why is it important

Understanding the real needs and wants of the target user/customer is a critical element of design thinking. From a deep empathetic understanding come potential ideas and eventual solutions. The human elements are more important than the socio-economic profiles that are often used by marketing departments to target customers.


how to do it


  1. Start by brainstorming as a team who your target users are using post-it notes to capture individual suggestions, then discussing and grouping them. Choose which one or two that the team represents the user best to create a hypothetical typical person.
  2. Position the Project Success Factor Map on a wall space where the team can gather around it
  3. Bring your chosen persona to life by discussing, agreeing and fleshing out the chosen persona, use your collective imagination to create a rich character portrayal.
  4. Draw a picture, use a photo, or a cutting from a magazine or website to visually represent your persona.
  5. Give the Persona a realistic name
  6. Complete the About section of the Persona Map – what type of person is this? What personal characteristics do they have, are they single/married, do they have children, etc?
  7. Invent a quote they might use to describe the need/want that you think they have that you will solve for them
  8. Describe more about their life, their background, education, job title, and other key characteristics of the persona
  9. Identify what Goals the persona has in their life, and for the product/service you will provide
  10. Identify key motivational factors that will encourage the use of your product/service – what are their customer latent needs and desires?
  11. Complete the section on Behaviours – what do they do? Tell stories about their behaviour as it relates to your product/service? How do they communicate? What are their frustrations? Etc?
  12. Review the completed Persona to check it accurately describes your chosen target user/customer.
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