Personas are a fundamental part of UXD (user experience design). Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data these personas represent the main user groups of your website. Research will help inform web design and functionality. You’ll be designing for your target audience which will give you a head start in meeting those business objectives.
A recent blog post on Moz recently caught my eye (to be fair anything that covers automation / APIs usually does!). It contains a script which uses a number of data sources to gather commonly shared content and topic extraction for an inputted list of Twitter usernames. This will potentially give you additional insight into your target audience:
You’ll need some technical knowledge to get this up and running but once you do you’ll be able to get some audience insight in the matter of minutes. I’d highly recommend reading the post on Moz before reading this. Whilst this script in no way replaces the need for thorough persona research it can certainly assist in the content gathering phase.
You’ll notice that the process shared on Moz is for Mac only. Luckily only a few modifications are required to get this up and running on Windows. Let’s get stuck in.
It appears that space missions, politics and business have been the hot topics amongst this list of users recently!
Summary & next steps
You’ll now have persona data to build upon. The hard work has now been done and you’ll be able to run reports again for different usernames just by following the final two steps.
If you followed the process your coding ninja abilities will have increased too.
A web based tool (internal or public) would certainly be more user-friendly and is certainly possible from a technical point of view. The idea of combining this data with other APIs, data sources and visualisation methods to make it a more fully featured persona tool is certainly one which I’ll be pursuing.
Image credit (header): Daniel Burns
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