How To Add Personas To An Existing Story Map

How to add personas to a story map? To be honest several story mappers use top-level cards as persona cards and visualize user steps on the second level.

Can the persona feature help those? The answer is definitely YES. No to mention that the StoriesOnboard app can do much more! So let’s roll up those sleeves and get down to creating personas and adding them to story maps.

Let’s talk a bit about the persona workflow

First of all, let us define what personas are about and why we should care about them. They are not just fancy names for user profiles, although that might be one of the reasons why people use them. A persona describes an imaginary character who represents a certain type of customer. You can think of them as fictional characters (think Sherlock Holmes) or real customers (think John Smith).

Personas describe people who share similar characteristics. You should think of each persona as a single customer. Each persona needs to be described in detail, including his/her goals, motivations, pain points, expectations, and any other information that might be useful to know before starting development.

User personas are used to help understand user needs and behaviors. While they may not be able to tell us what we should build, they can give us insight into our users’ behavior and preferences.

We usually start with three or four personas and work out how they will use the most important features of the app. Once the development of those features is complete, you can create new personas or imagine how the current ones will interact with the new features.

This information can be used to make personas more realistic, so consider inviting your marketing team to the “personas iteration” discussions.

Read more about creating personas here.

What are the pros of creating personas?

Keep user steps well structured to reach the following opportunities

  1. User activities are milestones where the user’s mindset change. Describe users’ mindsets and behaviors at every stage you’ll find differences. Use this additional information to prioritize features or to improve the user experience.
  2. Take a deep dive into a selected part of the user’s journey. You can easily hide other non-relevant activities. Narrowing your scope lets you discover missing steps or additional ideas.

How to transform persona cards into real personas

Let’s start with a good old example – the webshop. Our persona is a buyer, and his steps are the followings:

Create your first persona, Harry. He’s a regular buyer, he takes the whole journey using the product.

Add Harry to the top. As a result, we won a level, but how to make use of this space? Try to group user steps into more significant activities:

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Pro tip from StoriesOnBoard: use personas to create an excellent user journey

Adding personas to story maps allows you to synthesize personas and user journeys.

By assigning a new persona to every individual user journey, you’ll be able to identify them easily. For example, you can segment your users into regular buyers and impulse buyers in a webshop project. Create different personas according to these behaviors.

By retelling the story of these two personas you’ll recognize that they take different steps during the progress. For instance, the impulse buyer won’t browse product categories or compare products. On the contrary, she will buy a highlighted product after discovering it on the main page. Following this logic, assign personas to activity cards following their journey.

Why is it awesome?

Because you can filter out non-relevant steps when focusing on a selected persona. For example, if you had duplicated user steps earlier, then merge the journey into one and assign them to your brand new personas.

how to add user personas

How to add user personas to story maps in StoriesOnBoard? 
You can assign personas to not only top-level story cards but also to lower-ranking ones. Simply open a story card and click on “assign persona” below. Choose which persona(s) you’d like to order to the selected card and hit enter. Try filtering by a persona to map out their user journey on the story map by clicking on “search & filter” and selecting “filter by persona”. 

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Related Articles:

What’s on a persona card?

5 formatting tips for personas

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