I want to know the people I'm working with by visualising their key characteristics.



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INSPIRED BY : Business Design Toolkit (2010) Personas.

Level of Involvement

Requires some dialogue with colleagues/peers. Plan for some time to interact and fill out in collaboration over a day maybe.

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This tool is also available as an online module through DIY Learn, our learning programme in innovation. Access the module here or find out more about DIY Learn.

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中文版本 (Chinese Version)

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What is it & why should I do it?


Personas are portraits of fictional but realistic individuals that are used as a common reference point to describe particular groups in your intended audience. Personas are created by drawing together the characteristics of similar people – their behaviours, motivations and the like – into one ‘archetype’ through which the group can be understood. By creating a fictional character to embody these characteristics, you don’t lose the little details that make someone the person they are. In this way, Personas help ensure that your work stays focused on people, rather than an abstract description of the group they are said to represent.


Developing successful Personas is all about knowing what to put in, and what to leave out. They’re often developed from a range of different sources, each of which might contain huge amounts of detail. The trick is to recognise the common characteristics that could form the basis of a Persona, and what selection of personal details to include in order to bring this ‘to life’. Doing this right can be hugely beneficial as it lets you brainstorm ideas and test potential solutions from their perspective. Often its handy to create a number of Personas so that you can focus on the key characteristics of each subgroup of your intended audience.


How do I use it?


Personas represent different target subgroups that an organisation wants to reach out for. Being aware of the different preferences, routines and motivations that these different Personas have, can help you to customise your products and services to these specific subgroups.


Use the worksheet to compile a portrait of a typical person that could represent one of the Personas your organisation is targeting. Try to make the Persona as close to a typical person as possible by adding a name and a picture and descriptions of interests, skills and motivations.


Feel free to add any other details that are relevant to your situation and in relation to this Persona.

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Latest User Experience

  1. Kathi Kuehnel

    Kids 4 Afghan Kids

    User Rating: 4

    I found this sentence a bit confusing “Personas are portraits of fictional but realistic individuals that are used as a common reference point to communicate particular groups in your intended audience. ” Do you mean “to communicate TO particular groups?” Is there a word missing or am I missing something?

    Also, it wasn’t clear to us who the audience was until we saw the video. This is the first DIY we’ve used, so maybe it is explained elsewhere. However, at first we thought that audience meant targeted donors. Actually, this is a good exercise for both target donors to and targeted recipients of our services.


  2. Lauren

    User Rating: 5

    While this tool is meant for “visualizing” characteristics, this tool is also perfect for candid conversations with partners and programming recipients in order to modify programming to better meet needs of target population.


  3. sudheera jayarathne


    User Rating: 3



  4. Vicki Penwell

    Mercy In Action Vineyard, Inc

    User Rating: 4

    I found this very enlightening. Thank you for a way to think and see “outside the box”.


  5. magdalene amujal

    Kulika Uganda

    User Rating: 4

    The tool is good in that it helps you focus on the subject of discussion. Creating personas helps you to visualize your work and also place your self in the shoes of the people you serve. It speaks to the heart and seeks to discover the hidden pulse.