Who are the people visiting your website? Why did they come there, and what traits, concerns or beliefs shape their behavior? If these questions leave you feeling stumped, your website content might not be connecting with your target audience.
Persona mapping (or creating customer personas) is a common practice for businesses during the early stages of structuring a website.
It involves understanding who your customers are to guide everything from site navigation and page layout to copy and tone of voice, to target your customers most effectively.
How Persona Mapping Relates to Design
Persona mapping reveals the reasons behind users’ behaviors and decisions, allowing us to design for their real needs. It lends itself to innovative design, allowing us to step inside the shoes of customers to see the impact even slight design changes have on customer experience.
What exactly are customer personas? Personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers based on real data—like demographics and buying behaviors—that answer the following questions:
- Who are your customers?
- What do they want to accomplish on your website?
- How do they view your service and how does that impact how much information they need to make a decision?
- What experiences and preconceived notions or obstacles to action affect their decisions?
An example of a customer persona
Budget and time constraints will determine how much research you put into developing personas. A well-researched customer persona might be built from a combination of customer surveys, trends in market research, and in-person informational interviews. The more you know about your customers, the better you can connect with them through targeted content.
For a free guide to getting started with persona mapping, check out this free template from Hubspot.
Determine the Big Picture
The end goal of persona mapping is to organize your site content to support the tasks customers want to perform. It will also guide copy, helping to define clear call to actions, intuitive navigation, and readable content on every page.
So instead of making design decisions based on how you think your site look and feel, use real data and market research to design for the people who matter most—your customers.