Understanding User



This tool helps a team define and understand the needs of its customer or user.

Session Length: 45+ minutes Group Size: 6-8+ people Prep Time: 30+ minutes


Use the Personas tool early in the design process, when exploring new ideas or potential applications.


This helps a project team understand their users’ needs, motivations, limitations, and capabilities. Personas can act as a focus point and reminder throughout the project.


STEP 1: Assemble existing research into current or potential users.
STEP 2: Add your own evidence and data to the existing research (as needed) by observing, interviewing, and/or profiling potential users.
STEP 3: Build a collection of user archetypes, based on various categories of users. Give each one a specific name (e.g., Acquisition Amy), rather than a generic title (e.g., Military Technologist).
STEP 4: Add a stock photo or cartoon sketch of the described personas. You may want to add an invented quotation that summarizes a key issue, concern, or priority for the persona.

Personas |Worksheet

Download this tool to print out and start using with your team. Each download includes a tool description and if applicable, a template and example.