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Usability Sciences: Persona Development

Posted on 5.14.2007

Usability Sciences recently introduced a new solution for creating "behavior-based personas" for websites. Through its patented WebIQ® technology (and user experience methodologies) Usability Sciences collects data from site visitors to discover attitudes, intents and behaviors and then develops persons about a user base. Ideally, over time this should enable companies to increase conversions and brand loyalty as they know more (and on an intimate level) about their users.

How it works: User click-stream activity is captured while on a website, and these users answer additional questions about their experience upon leaving the site. Using its Attitudinal Analytics® methodology, Usability Sciences analysts then uncover critical attitudes, intents and behaviors across appropriate segments to identify and create the base set of personas. After conducting focus groups to round out the demographic and psychographic information for each persona, analysts apply an Attitude Modification and Behavior Prediction Models™ to predict the behavior and desires of each persona.

"A behavior-based methodology greatly reduces the risks inherent in traditional methods of persona development because it uses actual customer behavior data in its persona formulation process. This insures that design decisions are most accurately targeted toward the site's primary user(s) with maximum impact, which can lead to significant increases in revenues, brand loyalty, and other types of conversions" said Jeff Schueler, President of Usability Sciences Corporation.

DIY (Do It Yourself) Persona Development:
While Usability Sciences is one of the leaders in their field, the service they provide (albeit on a less intensive level) could be applied to almost any website. Solutions like CrazyEgg give those responsible for Web success information about where users are going on a site. There are hundreds of service providers which offer tools to help you survey your clients or Web visitors (too many to mention in one post). The purpose of "persona development" is to discover the needs (and wants) of your users and determine what needs to change to make your Web presence more successful. By obtaining a deep understanding of your customers you will be better able to plan for improvements which will positively impact your bottom line.

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