I’m sure you’ve heard of personas and scenarios, but let’s start with a quick explanation of how they are useful in the design process:
A persona is an elementary tool of usability and user experience design and describes a typical member of your target audience. Although a persona is a fictional representation of a user, it is based on real data; the persona should be as close to a real potential user as possible.
A scenario is a ‘story’ based on the persona’s experience of, journey with, and actions taken while interacting with your app or site. It explains the process a user might follow, their capabilities, reasons, goals, and motivations in relation to the site. Scenarios explain everyday situations; how the app or site fits in the persona’s daily life, what got them to use it, how they use it, why they keep on using it, and so on.
Together they describe the various contexts in which someone could be using your site. This, in turn, flushes out problems and opportunities that ought to be addressed.