Humanising our Audience with Personas


User Personas

Personas are essentially fictional characters that represent the different user types that use our website. I'm not a huge fan of personas as they are one-dimensional and can be misleading, for example, our first persona represents a Developer but our 'Creator' group could also be a designer for example. With that said, they do a good job of humanising our audience and communicating the types of user we need to cater for, which can help keep the user in mind when designing the site.

The personas below are 'typical' users for our website that stem from the research we did in the first post. To help with the personas I used uifaces and uinames.

Vincent Martinez - Creator

Vincent Martine Face
Age: 19
Job Title: ASP.NET Developer
Goal: Download or try Orchard and get up and running
Notes: Very technical and seasoned developer. Has used other CMS's so will be conscious how it compares. Concerned with the technology, extensibility of the platform and how easy it is to develop for.

David Tran - Researcher

David Tran
Age: 38
Job Title: Chief Technology Officer
Goal: Ensure that the product is trustworthy and well supported
Notes: Time poor, high level technical knowledge, architectural. Concerned with commercial viability, security and support.

Laura Curtis - End User

Laura Curtis
Age: 26
Job Title: Marketing Manager
Goal: Evaluate out of the box features, along with admin UI and ease of use
Notes: Non-technical but MS Office proficient. Concerned with ease of use, out of the box features and flexibility.

Summary & Next Steps

I've seen personas with tons of information such as bios, income, marital status etc. but for most occasions this information is not relevant and only adds noise. We'll revisit the personas when we come to do the user journeys, but first we need to establish our user's requirements, which is the focus of the next post.

  1. Objectives & Audience
  2. Orchard CMS Website Audit
  3. Comparing CMS Vendor Websites
  4. Humanising our Audience with Personas (this post)
  5. Project Requirements for the New Orchard Website
  6. User Journeys for the New Orchard Website
  7. Information Architecture for the New Orchard Website


  • Antoine Griffard () - Reply

    Interesting posts, thank you Steve.
    I like the marketing approach to figure out what is missing in the current Orchard project site.
    About the different people to target, personas as you call them, I would distinguish :
    - Developer : your 'Creator' that wants to install, configure, extend Orchard.
    - Decision maker : your 'Researcher' that has to decide if Orchard is the right choice.
    - Back end user: your 'End User' that can be an administrator or just a writer/moderator.
    - Front-end dev / Designer / graphist that is integrating a theme, adding js, css and views.

  • steve () - Reply

    Hi Antoine,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Initially I did have designers separated out from developers but even though they have different tasks in mind they both have the same journey (as you'll see in the next post) to download Orchard, learn or contribute. This is why they are both bundled together.

    Hope this makes sense. If though, it turns out that the site does need to cater for them differently and is deemed a key objective of the site, then I think I would split them out.



  • Luis () - Reply

    Since it seems that all our users wear glasses, maybe we should add "increase default font size" as a requirement :)
    Just kidding.
    Glad to see such a professional effort in getting a better website. Very good work!

  • steve () - Reply

    ha ha, thanks Luis. Maybe we need to add a caveat when you download Orchard * Glasses not included!

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