I normally create personas at the start of every UX project. However next UX project which I'm going to take on has an existing web site which is quite popular. And I have already used Google analytics and some other tools to find lot of information about existing users.

So in this case, I'm wondering whether I should start by creating personas or improve the existing site with the help of information I already have. I'm Looking for some advice on this.

  • 1
    Do you have enough time and resources to take your personas path with this project?
    – Rayraegah
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 12:12
  • 1
    How do you normally use the personas when you do create them? Do any other stakeholders expect/require them?
    – Matt Obee
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 13:10
  • You certainly wouldn't have to create them again if a future project has a user group which matches a persona you've already created. As you create personas, they become a library you can draw on as you move from project to project.
    – wootcat
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 13:19
  • I disagree wootcat, personas are in my opinion project-specific, every project is different somehow and users tend to develop over time. On that base, personas should not be reused in danger of overlooking possible differences.
    – Velkommen
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 13:25

6 Answers 6


Personas is just a tool to better know your users. Should you create personas every time? I'm not sure. Personas based on user research. You have some research that allows you to create some user model. It is not a person but yet a model, which is good already.

Another thought is if you are experienced in personas creation and it is mandatory step in you process, create it or possibly some lightweighted version of persona. Maybe it will be your invention?


My experience tells me that...if you already know some info about your users (GA, some other tools) AND it's a new project then writing personas shouldn't take you too long. In general, I find quite useful to summarize the key patterns seen in Google Analytics in my personas.

At the end of the day, it's really quite simple: are you dealing with the same users?

  • If yes, then update your personas with more research, etc. Make sure they still have the same goals.

  • If not, then it's time to write.


I think you should always know who your users are and understand them, but personas are just one tool that can be used for this task. The type of project you're working on, its schedule and the resources you have available to you can help you decide if personas are appropriate.


Simply put, you do not always need to create Personas. However, it's up to you to weigh if it's required for your current project.

As some of them have already stated, I use personas when I can identify different types of user and I need a general picture of them that I need to refer to from time to time. It helps to have a Persona to design for. Secondly, I use personas to help communicate my design ideas to stakeholders or other people involved. We as designers might understand the users and what needs to be done, but Personas are a good way of communicating to other people your design ideas. Also, if you are working with a group of designers, Personas help in getting everyone on the team to focus on the users.


Personas provide us a first hand understanding on our target user group requirements. If any other method provides you sufficient information on target users' requirement, I would not suggest you to spend time on developing personas.


You must choose the ux tools in according with the requires of each projects. Personas are usually used when the target can be splitted in different categories. If you are designing a women community you can identify some personas, like housewife, teenager, career woman etc. Each personas must represents a specific section of all users. And you can easy find the needs of each potential user kind.

More info here: http://www.servicedesigntools.org/tools/40

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