This module will support your understanding and use of the Personas Tool from the DIY Toolkit. You should look at the Personas Template which can be found on page 74 of the DIY Toolkit [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , before working through the module. You will find it helpful to have a print out of the Personas Template with you while you work through this module.

When planning and managing projects or development activities, one of the foremost questions on the mind of planners, designers, decision makers and managers is:

  • Who are my beneficiaries and users, and what are they looking for from the project or development activity?

It is important that you, as a project manager or decision maker, have a way of deciphering the needs and behaviours of your target audience(s), in order to best plan for services or activities that satisfy their needs.

This is where personas – short profiles of model project beneficiaries or users – can play a useful role in helping you to gain a clearer understanding of your target audience. This module explores what personas are and how they are used to help focus a project on the needs of its user group.

Learning outcomes

After studying this module, you should be able to:

  • describe what a persona is and identify why and when to use it (SAQ 1)
  • explore how personas can be applied to create empathy between planners and their target audience (SAQ 2)
  • use a persona to create an identity for a target group (SAQ 3)
  • construct a persona (SAQ 4).

1 What are personas?