User personas

We recognise the value of field research meeting with our users to understand what they need and how they do things. We have built up a collection of personas that give you an inside view to who is using our websites, intranets and other digital systems.

These personas are based on one-on-one interviews, site visits, surveys and observation studies.

Student personas

Download all schools personas (PDF 662.97KB) - Best printed on A3 colour.

Schools personas

Download all schools personas (PDF 1812.6KB) - Best printed on A3 colour.

Corporate personas

Download all corporate personas (PDF 2852.27KB) - Best printed on A3 colour.

Parent personas

Download all parent personas (PDF 4703.73KB) - Best printed on A3 colour.

What are personas?

A persona is a communication tool used to illustrate the different types of website users. Personas draw out user needs, motivations, expectations, goals, values and environmental factors. Creating them is an important part of the user centred design process. We use them to build empathy for the target audience, to drive focus and to build consensus on web projects.

Example of a persona

If you've met with our user experience team in digital services you've most likely been asked about your audience and what it is they want to do on your site. We usually follow this with a discussion to explore these users' behaviours and their needs, to arrive at proto-personas. While we encourage this high-level, early thinking of your users it's important to remember that proto-personas are based on assumption, gut feel and best guess.

To create authentic personas we recommend you meet with your users in the early stages of your re-design. This reality check will give your teams a greater understanding and empathy to inform the information architecture (IA) and content decisions and for planning usability testing.

How to use our personas

These personas paint a picture of some of our largest audience groups. They are not meant to replace your own discussions and user activities, these profiles should supplement them. Use them as a way to start the user conversation and flesh out the specifics of who your users are. This will give your UCD activities more focus and allow you to refine your website with the right types of users.

Supporting research reports

All research reports are stored on Google drive. You will need to be logged into your google account to access these.

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