Extreme Persona Research
Personas are a tool that consists of creating fictional characters. Researchers create them based on common traits of people like each other. Thus, they make an archetype.
Extreme personas are archetypes of people with unique traits. Another key point is that they represent special or rare groups. We can identify three groups of extreme personas:
- The multi-minority: This persona is a character who belongs to several groups. Each of these groups is a minority in society. The most classic is a Black woman who is also a lesbian and disabled.
- The Hard Lifer: This persona has a violent and heavy past that impacts needs and behaviors. An example is a widowed father. This father is also a cancer survivor, working nights at minimum wage.
- The toxic persona: This persona displays harmful behaviors. They project these behaviors onto the products they use. The three best-known types are:
- The Hater: This persona vents anger about a product. A subclass can be the troll who has fun annoying other users.
- The Pervert: These users divert products to express their lust. An example is men who use LinkedIn as a platform for flirting.
- The Idiot: This persona doesn’t understand anything about what they are doing. Marketers must consider this user to ensure the system is safe and there is no way to endanger them.
Why is Extreme Persona Research Important?
Personas breathe life into the cold facts of your research. Combine the people for whom you seek to design into a coherent whole. Create persona profiles of typical or extreme users. It will help you understand patterns in your research. Another benefit of creating personas is that it will help you ask the right questions. It will also enable you to answer them in line with the users you’re designing for.
Why Businesses Need Extreme Persona Research
Personas can be helpful when well crafted to represent specific user cases. Furthermore, referring to them can allow a business to innovate in a direction that will enable it to thrive. Are you looking to test a new product or service? First, see how it connects with the extreme personas before trying to market it. Once you adjust the results to consider external factors, you can use them to spot markets like yours.
Key Success Factors
It’s not cheap to create personas that drive real insights and empathy, nor is it easy. While the list of success factors is a long one, these five are an excellent place to start:
- Conduct in-depth research. Tony Zambito conducted the State of Buyer Personas 2015 survey several years ago. In his comments, he noted that only 15 percent of respondents used Qualitative in-depth research to build their personas. Without meaningful, rich, research-driven insights, your extreme personas risk being one-dimensional. As a matter of fact, they can even be misleading.
- Represent real people. Distill your extreme personas into the descriptions of “real” people. Portray them in vivid ways that connect with your audience.
- Inform as well as validate your extreme personas with transactional or segmentation data. Interviews and Focus Groups drive most persona content. But the ability to add segmentation or transactional data is crucial. It can help to further inform or validate your extreme personas.
- Ensure that you use your extreme personas. You must integrate your extreme personas into the process at critical steps. Then use them to inform, check, and validate decision-making.
- Leverage your extreme personas. You can leverage a single, well-designed extreme persona across your company. Use that persona for several journey-mapping initiatives.
About Extreme Persona Research
Extreme personas greatly benefit UX Market Research, but marketers must be careful. They should only design a product or service that covers some user archetypes. Looking at extreme personas during the research is crucial. It will give you an external view of the project. Moreover, this view will take you out of the box and expand your creative character. Yet, it would be best if you never lost focus on what you’re creating, for what, and for whom.