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5 user persona examples to inspire your team and increase customer satisfaction
Providing a great website and product experience starts with understanding your users.
You need to know who they are, how they describe themselves, why they buy, and what’s holding them back from buying—all insights that will inform your user personas.
Last updated17 Feb 2023
User personas are semi-fictional representations of the ideal or current users of a product or service. User personas help product and design teams better understand and delight customers.
We rounded up five user persona examples from real brands to help you create yours from scratch, so your team can make more confident decisions that drive business growth.
From these examples, you'll learn what makes each persona great, and what you can do to improve yours.
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5 user persona examples to help you create yours
The most effective user personas are based on market research and insights from engaging with the people who already use your product.
If marketers don’t know exactly which customers to target or what fuels their buying decisions, growth will always feel painfully slow. The solution? Customer research.
Talking to real users is a great way to deeply understand your customers. User research uncovers their jobs to be done (JTBD), pain points, and demographic and psychographic data, all of which are details that will inform your user personas, and help your team develop more empathy to create personalized product experiences.
This guide explores five (real) user persona examples to show you what to prioritize while creating yours. Whether you’re new to creating personas or need to update your existing ones, these examples will inspire and bring yours to life.
1. Userpilot: the Customer Success Manager
Userpilot helps product and customer success teams onboard users and increase product adoption.
Userpilot’s Customer Success Manager works at a B2B SaaS company with 11–50 employees. The persona profile also outlines several goals they want to accomplish and the barriers holding them back.
This is a great example of an effective user persona because it answers three important questions to help your team clearly define who you're targeting, the big goal they want to accomplish, and their biggest obstacle:
Who is your ideal user? Defines the type of people who buy your product and how they describe themselves.
What is their main goal? Outlines why people buy your product—their main jobs to be done (JTBDs).
What is their main barrier? Reveals why ideal users aren't buying your product yet, and why current users don't use it often or demonstrate product expertise.
Userpilot could make this persona even better by focusing on a single goal and barrier, instead of multiple goals at once, which would help cross-functional teams focus their efforts on solving a specific problem before moving to another.
For example, say Userpilot’s Customer Success Manager’s persona said this, instead:
Who is your ideal user?
A Customer Success Manager working at a growth-stage B2B SaaS company with 11–50 employees.
What is their main goal?
They want to increase product adoption rates.
What is their main barrier?
Customers don’t interact with videos and guides built for everyone. They need specific guides customized to their own use case.
Laid out this way, you can easily see that creating personalized content will help increase product adoption rate. The team can focus on achieving this goal before addressing others.
Pro tip: segment users and create a detailed customer persona for each group. Start with creating 1–2 personas with this free template, and create solutions different user segments will find most helpful.
Remember to focus on one main goal and barrier while creating your persona. Avoid trying to address too many goals and barriers at once. Instead, identify:
A key demographic
The main goal your user segment is trying to achieve
The main barrier that keeps them from achieving the goal
These insights empower your team to understand and delight users with personalized experiences.
2. Blue Cable: the Software Architect
Blue Cable is a broadband integrator that provides state-of-the-art equipment integration to help major telecommunications companies deliver faster services.
Venngage built this Software Architect persona to show how Blue Cable thinks of its users:
Blue Cable’s Software Architect persona stands out because it provides key demographics and psychographics the team needs to build better product experiences:
Demographics include the user’s job title, company size, and other details that help you understand how they describe themselves
Psychographics reveal critical internal traits, such as values, personality, motivation, and interests, which help you understand what drives the user’s actions
Both data types give your team a clearer picture of how and why your target user makes decisions, making it easy for your team to prioritize the right product initiatives.
Pro tip: talking directly to users helps you understand their experience, so you can tailor optimizations and updates to what they really need based on qualitative psychographic insights.
Gather unbiased feedback with Hotjar Engage—talk to current users or people who have recently used competing products. You can schedule and run customer interviews with your users and 175,000+ testers who have used similar products.
3. Smallpdf: the Administrative Assistant
Smallpdf is a free web app that allows users to edit, convert, and compress PDF files into various formats. Although the tool is for everyone, Smallpdf’s users have different needs.
For example, using Hotjar, Smallpdf discovered that Administrative Assistants use the tool to create editable files from printed documents. As a result, they built this persona:
What makes this persona great is its simplicity and clarity. Smallpdf’s product and design teams can easily identify the user's main goal and biggest barrier.
Initially, Smallpdf struggled to understand their users' needs—as far as they knew, the tool was for everyone. As a result, they couldn’t identify specific needs different users had.
The team used Hotjar's free user persona survey template to gather feedback from users, asking these five questions:
"What are you using Smallpdf for now?" This question identifies the user’s main goal.
"What kind of documents do you process with Smallpdf?" This question also identifies the user’s main goal, but with more specificity.
"What is your profession," a question about the user’s demographics.
"Are you a Pro (paying) user," another more specific demographics question.
"What was the last PDF-related task you struggled with?" This question identifies the user’s main barrier, or blocker, to success in the product.
Based on people's answers to those five questions, the team created a persona that helped the team make the PDF to Word tool more useful for Administrative Assistants, which led to a 75% increase in the tool’s success rate.
That’s the power of user personas: they give your team an accurate picture of ideal and current customers, so you can make better, user-centric product decisions.
Pro tip: use Hotjar Surveys to set up a short questionnaire on your most visited pages.
Ask 3–5 open-ended questions to get unbiased feedback in the voice of the customer (VoC). Get inspiration from SmallPDF's examples above, or ask questions like
What’s your job title?
What is your main goal when using this website/product?
What are your main concerns or questions about this product/service?
Then, analyze your open-ended questions using this spreadsheet to identify common themes.
Your user persona should represent the largest share of your user base. Outline a key demographic, main goal, and main barrier for each persona. This template will help you organize the details so your team can better understand the persona.
Of course, the goal isn’t to stick with one profile throughout the lifetime of your business, but to improve it and create new ones for other segments as you learn more about different types of users.
Creating a new survey in Hotjar
4. ClearVoice: the Marketing Director
ClearVoice is a content marketing platform and talent network that helps small and large digital marketing agencies create and manage content marketing campaigns.
One of its personas is the Marketing Director. ClearVoice built this persona to create content and product features that hit the mark with ideal and current users:
ClearVoice’s Marketing Director persona clearly defines the user's demographics, including critical details like their job title, industry, salary, education, and age. These demographics help product and design teams identify basic user information that contributes to their decisions.
Including the company size and growth stage would make this persona profile even stronger, because businesses often have different goals depending on their size and growth stage.
But what's more: while demographics are crucial, psychographic insights help you create a more effective persona, enabling your team to empathize with the user.
Pro tip: when building your persona, go beyond demographics.
Include critical details such as the user’s fears, aspirations, motivations, interests, goals, and barriers. These insights give additional context that can help you improve their product and website experience.
5. Swiggy App: the Busy Professional
Swiggy App is an Indian online food ordering and delivery platform.
Most people who use the app are busy professionals who either don’t have time to prepare their own meals, or aren't experienced in the kitchen. Swiggy’s busy professional persona looks like this:
Swiggy's user persona clearly outlines the user's goals and pain points, so it’s easy to see how to provide immediate value. For example, Swiggy can attract Priya with healthy, family meal packages, especially because she orders food for herself, her husband, and two kids.
Again, the best way to gather helpful information like this is to ask real users open-ended questions through surveys or customer interviews.
Open-ended questions allow users to express themselves freely and in their own words. Unique answers from your users can help your team identify trends in user needs and modify your brand’s messaging.
Pro tip: Hotjar Engage lets you record user persona interviews so every team member can access them easily, and watch and listen again and again to uncover insights they may have missed during the initial chat.
Great user personas start by asking the right questions
To develop the most effective user persona, ensure it answers these three questions:
Who is your ideal user? Define the type of people who use your product.
What is their main goal? Identify their main job to be done when using your product or navigating your site.
What is their main barrier? Outline the main obstacle keeping them from signing up or buying.
And why don't you make it easy on yourself: place an on-page survey on your most visited web pages to ask these (and other) open-ended questions to identify key demographics and psychographics, and learn about customers' goals and challenges in their own words.
To take your user research a step further, hold user interviews with Hotjar Engage—which lets you schedule one-on-one interviews with users to gather unbiased feedback—so your team can have an accurate picture of your customers and make better, more impactful user personas.
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Hotjar gives you the quantitative and qualitative user insights you need to create an impactful user persona.