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In the fields of online advertising and online marketing, personas are fictional characters which are used for representing different types of users for helping with a website, brand or product. It is considered as part of interaction design or a user-centered design. Personas are considered helpful for achieving the advertising and marketing goals and can aid customers in making decisions with respect to a product or service.
Personas are also known as user personas.
Personas are designed to depict unique behavior patterns skills, attitudes and aptitudes so that they are more realistic in nature. If there are more than one personas used, the personas are created with the help of data collected from relevant users of the product or service.
There are many benefits of personas when it comes to online advertising or marketing. They are cognitively compelling from customer perspective and could also assist in brainstorming as well as communicating. Personas help designers as well engineers to absorb the customer data in a more palatable format. Personas can help avoid common design pitfalls such as self-referential design, where designers project their own mental models on the designs of the product, which could potentially be different from the target audience.
Personas are largely criticized on account of the scientific logic, as some argue data collected with specific personas cannot be truly scientific. Again, personas being fictional may not serve all the interests of real users.