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Personas

Reflection of Personas from a Beginner

The following is a post from the APG Team’s summer 2020 intern, Jaad Mohammed. Always good to get a fresh perspective!
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Reflection of Personas from a Beginner
by Jaad Mohammed

Before starting my internship at QCRI with the APG team, I had no idea about the concept of personas.

At my introductory meeting, I learned that a persona is an abstract representation of various types of users that interact with an organization’s online presence (i.e., company website, social media accounts etc.). These APG personas are created by processing data from the audience insights of social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, YouTube etc.) and company websites of our clients, using APG’s unique algorithms.

What I didn’t understand was how these personas could be used and how it helps the end-user. After reviewing some material online and talking with my colleagues, I inferred that personas are very effective for an organization to achieve a strong online presence.

Suppose I was a client using the APG software; this is how I could use personas for my company’s benefit.

Firstly, I can get to know the particular area of interest of a group of users using my website and which pages those users are likely to visit.

Secondly, using this information: –
● I can create content in a manner that targets a particular group of users visiting my company online by including real-time relevant material in my product and excluding content they may dislike.
● Then, I can distribute the content to a page where my end user is sure to visit. This guarantees that my user did not miss the opportunity to view my product due to poor product placement.

In today’s highly digitalized world, with all sorts of activities taking place online, personas come in as a handy tool for organizations to understand the preferences of their customers. This information can then be used effectively to increase the success rates of marketing campaigns by the organization ranging from planning to distribution of content.

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Salminen, J., Jung, S.G., Chowdhury, S. Şengün, S., and Jansen, B. J. (2020) Personas and Analytics: A Comparative User Study of Efficiency and Effectiveness for a User Identification Task. ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’20), Honolulu, HI, USA. 25–30 April, 1-13.

By Jim Jansen

Dr. Jansen is a Principal Scientist in the social computing group of the Qatar Computing Research Institute, and a professor with the College of Science and Engineering, Hamad bin Khalifa University, and an adjunct professor with the College of Information Sciences and Technology at The Pennsylvania State University. He is a graduate of West Point and has a Ph.D. in computer science from Texas A&M University, along with master degrees from Texas A&M (computer science) and Troy State (international relations). Dr. Jim Jansen served in the U.S. Army as an Infantry enlisted soldier and communication commissioned officer.