Method overview

It’s a sad but true reality that design decisions are too often based on the personal preferences and presumptions of designers. It’s far better to make design decisions in the interest of the people you are serving. A good set of personas will guide you and your team to think about the recipients of your ideas at every stage of design development.

Persona Profiles are fictional characterizations drawn from real research data. They are not preconceived stereotypes; they are archetypes borne of careful study. Therefore, personas can serve as a powerful way to make your data meaningful. When you put a face to your findings, you make your insights visible and memorable. The best Persona Profiles are comprised of illustrations, descriptive text, and a photo portrait. They can help your team remember and discuss the people for whom you are designing. As a reference for generating ideas, prioritizing features, or discussing trade-off decisions, personas are a valuable tool for decision making.

The benefits of this method

  • Focuses on people above other factors.
  • Deepens your empathy for others.
  • Summarizes your research findings.
  • Challenges your preconceptions.


Quick guide

  • Identify a body of research to inform your work.
  • Determine a set of archetypes to develop in detail.
  • Write a personal description of each type.
  • Give them realistic names.
  • Include a representative portrait for each persona.
  • Describe their distinguishing characteristics.
  • Establish their needs and goals.
  • Summarize their mindset with a memorable quote.
  • Compose a one-page summary sheet for each type.

Helpful hints

  • Avoid disrespectful stereotypes at all costs.
  • Supplement your text with illustrative diagrams.
  • Engage an expert designer for visual refinement.

Combining LUMA methods into design recipes

The methods in the LUMA System are great on their own, but they are really powerful when combined into design recipes. Just like when you combine ingredients to make a tasty meal, you can also combine design methods to address challenges such as improving workplace culture or uncovering customer insights.

An example of a recipe from LUMA Workplace®:

Want to learn more about LUMA methods?