The persona is a widely used tool in design thinking that helps you to create an exemplary user type for your product/service or social impact solution.

Best used for

Ideation, also for Developing Marketing Campaigns

Time to introduce this activity in lecture / Time to run this activity

5-10 min / 1 h

In the context of Digital Social Impact courses and learning activities

This persona activity allows students to define concrete characteristics and behaviors and thus better understand the persona/s they are designing solutions for. 

Main Target Group


Potential tools for digitising this activity

Powerpoint, Word, Excel

Step by Step

1 At the beginning, think about who the target group(s) of your project is/are. For each of your target groups, create a fictitious user type (=persona) that represents your specific target group. Depending on the number of target groups, this can be one or more personas. You should create a corresponding number of templates in which the most important characteristics of your persona are recorded. 

2 Give your persona a fictitious name and represent it with a photo. Collect qualitative and/or quantitative data from your specific target audience. Depending on the complexity of the data collection, the time required for the method varies considerably. You should use both primary and secondary data.

3 Describe your persona together as a team. Start with demographic facts, such as age, occupation, marital status, and place of residence.

4 Gather more information about your persona. What is their environment like? Where does your persona spend a lot of time? What influences them? What media does your persona use? What wishes and fears does she or he have? Depending on the relevance for your project, you can add further attributes.

5 Finally, define what you do not yet know about your persona and distribute these research tasks among your project participants.

6 Always refer to your persona when making decisions in the project. Is your project aligned with your persona and are their needs being met? Continually update your persona in the project as you gather new information.