Like all the best movies and music, personas were first introduced in the mid-‘90s. Brands continue to use them to better understand their audience and meet consumers’ needs.
For instance, instead of designing a site that appeals to a generic demographic (i.e. women between the ages of 30-55), a persona creates a character with specific details that embody the target audience (i.e. Rhonda: a single mom of 3, age 36, lives in Idaho, nurse, makes $60,000 a year, likes to nap if she ever gets a chance).
This persona story helps designers understand not just “How would a middle-aged woman use this site?” but, “How would Rhonda use this site? What would Rhonda struggle with? Would Rhonda be trying to look for the store hours, or is she coming on the site to Christmas shop?” A better understanding of the user affects the usability of the site, taking a company’s design and user experience to the next level.