Personas for product development


What are personas?[edit]

Personas are design tools to help product teams focus their solutions, products, features, etc. around the kind of person they are designing and building for. Personas remind teams about the needs, contexts, capabilities, challenges and goals, of the personas. Personas are not profiles of individuals, but rather, archetypes of motivations, observed behaviors. Each persona describes a group of people with similar goals, motivations and behaviors. Personas help teams focus decisions around the needs, and solving the challenges of the humans they are designing and building with and for.

Further reading on Personas and their use —

Foundation's persona projects[edit]

Multilingual Editors in Small Wikis[edit]

In 2020, the Language Team and Design Strategy investigated the editing and translation experiences of 42 current and potential editors in seven smaller wikis, including Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Malayalam, Bengali, Gujarati, and Telugu. One of the outcomes of the Multilingual Editor Experiences in Small Wikis Project was a set of personas.

Movement Organizer Personas[edit]

In the first half of 2019, the Wikimedia Foundation completed the Movement Organizers Research, which studied the needs and experiences of Organizers in the Wikimedia Movement, interviewing 55 individuals and several local community groups. Organizers are frequently the first line of engagement and support for newcomers, other organizers and for outreach to local readers and institutions. Deep local studies were completed in Ghana and Argentina, in addition to a series of interviews with remote participants.

English Language Personas[edit]

Spanish Language Personas[edit]

Mobile Personas for India[edit]

Mobile Personas for India

In the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2018 the WMF Design Strategy team engaged Hureo, a User Research Consultancy in Pune, to conduct interviews with 50 participants across different geographical regions in India, covering tier 1, 2, 3 cities as well as semi-rural and rural areas. Participants included mostly multi-lingual participants, and focused on understanding how regional language speakers use Wikipedia.

Audience segment Readers, Contributors

Region of Study India

Status Study Complete

GLAM Commons Users[edit]

In spring/summer 2018 Jonathan Morgan and Niharika Ved, in collaboration with the GLAM team in Community Programs, conducted a series of interviews with 11 people as well as a survey with 44 respondents. Participants and the survey were invited from the Global GLAM-Wiki Community, and representing a mix of types of contributors that participate in GLAM-Wiki. For more information about the research see the page on Meta.

Audience segment GLAM users of Wikimedia Commons.

Region of Study Global

Status Study Complete

US Mobile Users[edit]

Audience segment: Readers, Casual Editors

Region of study: United States

Status: Study complete

In spring 2018, the Foundation teamed up with Logic Department to research and formulate United States-based mobile personas. The research project aimed to evaluate mobile readers and contributors' assumptions, behaviors, interactions and reactions to the various modes of interaction users can have with Wikipedia on mobile. The personas below are deliverables from the Mobile Personas research in the United States. They are being used within the Audiences and other teams at the Wikimedia Foundation. Read more about the mobile personas research project and the project findings.

New Editors[edit]

Audience segment: New Editors

Region of study: Czech Republic and South Korea

Status: Study complete

In the Spring of 2017, a team was formed to implement another contextual inquiry, this time, about new editors, and their experiences in becoming (or not) productive contributors to Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation teamed up with Reboot again, and went to South Korea and the Czech Republic to learn from new editors about their experiences. The goal is to better understand and try to improve the experiences of new editors, since many of them start, and then stop. Here, you can find information about the new editor experiences research, and follow on work. The personas below, are a deliverable from the New Editor Experiences research in South Korea and Czech Republic. They are being used within the Audiences teams, and other teams at the Wikimedia Foundation.

New Readers[edit]

Audience segment: New Readers

Region of study: Nigeria and India

Status: Study complete

In Spring of 2016, Design Research team, Global Partnerships, Communications and the Reading team partnered to implement two contextual inquiries (one in Nigeria and one in India) in partnership with Reboot (a design research firm) to learn about new and potentially new readers. These personas are directly from that research, and are being used by the New Readers team, various other teams in the Wikimedia Foundation, and teams in Nigeria and India. Here, you can see the New Readers research, team and work being done.

Pragmatic Personas[edit]

Status: Study complete

Pragmatic personas are built quickly from what is known (for example: self report surveys, academic research, and quantitative data) and acknowledging what is not known. The benefit of pragmatic personas is that they can be created more quickly than personas based on research (qualitative research triangulated with any segmentation that is available). Drawbacks of pragmatic personas, are that they are not created from primary research, and so are more guesswork than personas that are based in qualitative research. These pragmatic personas were created in 2015.