By Andrea Kaufman Robbins, Senior Account Manager
Today, we’re diving into the world of user-centric design, where design decisions can make or break a business. We’ll explore two popular and compatible approaches to understanding your customers: Personas and Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD). These concepts will take your user experience (UX) game to the next level; answering the questions, “who are our users and what can we do for them and why do they need us?”
Understanding your users is key to creating a product that truly resonates, AND to being and staying relevant in a fast-moving, over-saturated marketplace. This is where personas and JTBD step onto the stage, armed with superpowers to guide your design decisions and help you hit the bullseye.
Let’s start by unpacking personas, the rockstars of UX design. Picture this: you’re creating a product, and you want to understand your target audience better than they understand themselves. Personas are fictional characters that represent specific user groups. By giving your users a face, name, and backstory, personas help you empathize with them and design experiences tailored to their needs. For example, a rideshare service created personas for the “Busy Professional,” who values reliability and the “Socialite,” who seeks convenience and enjoys the social aspect of riding with friends. Two different customers, with different needs and wants.
Here’s where JTBD swoops in to spice things up. JTBD takes a slightly different approach, focusing on the task at hand. It asks the million-dollar question: “What job is the user hiring your product or service to accomplish?” Imagine your user has a problem—JTBD is like a trusty sidekick, determined to find the best solution. It helps you understand the motivations and desired outcomes of your users, ultimately guiding your design decisions with laser precision.
Now, you might be thinking, “Hey, personas and JTBD sound amazing, but how do they fit into my journey?” Personas transform user data into relatable characters, providing insights into their preferences, goals, and pain points. Just like your favorite meme or viral TikTok, personas make the user experience personal and unforgettable. They help you empathize with your users and create designs that speak their language. So, if you want to slay the UX game, personas are your go-to weapon.
JTBD lets you dig deeper into your user’s mind, uncovering unmet needs and aspirations. By focusing on the job your user wants to accomplish, you can craft experiences that address their core desires. JTBD ensures that your product solves real problems, making it irresistible to your target audience. Continuing with our rideshare example, the rideshare company highlights the “job to be done” (a safe and punctual ride to a specific destination) i.e; specific benefits that each persona seeks. They emphasize reliable and punctual service for the “Busy Professional,” while showcasing the convenience and fun of group rides for the “Socialite.”
Combining the power of personas and JTBD creates an unstoppable UX design duo. Use personas to understand your users on a personal level, and then let JTBD uncover the underlying tasks and goals that drive them. Together, they’ll supercharge your design process, making your product a magnet for users. For our example, the rideshare company moves beyond generic marketing and creates personalized campaigns that speak directly to the motivations and needs of their different customer segments.
Whether you’re in the early stages of product development or looking to revamp your UX strategy, remember it’s all about understanding your audience, crafting compelling campaigns, and forging connections that last. At Avocet, we love nothing better than to unlock and combine the true potential of personas and JTBD, and watch our marketing efforts for our clients skyrocket! Here are a few examples from one of our own clients: SchoolCafé