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Personas, Experience Mapping & Behavior

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Challenge introduction

User research and usability testing are fantastic ways to understand your users, but how do we spread that understanding across an organization? Personas and experience maps are the solution to helping your clients or other team members understand the behavior of the users you’ve researched and use that as the basis for organizational decision making.

Background research

Challenge outline

Based on the work you’ve already done for your Bootcamp challenge divide your audience into a few distinct personas based on observed differences in behavior among the people you’ve interviewed and tested with. The best personas are based on behavioral traits, not on demographic traits.

Once you’ve completed your personas begin the creation of an experience map of the ecosystem around your Bootcamp app that demonstrates the divergence in experience that different persona types may experience.

Finally, you’re going to rework the onboarding process and core functionality of your Bootcamp prototype to incorporate what you’ve learned so far. In particular, pay attention to the lessons learned from the Hook Model and focus on creating an experience designed to reinforce use through the creation of habits in your users.

Recommended process

  1. Start by going over the background research listed above. Discuss as a group and individually with your mentors.

  2. Develop distinct personas in your user base from the research and testing you’ve done so far. There is no set number of personas to create, but the likelihood of having a single persona is low.

  3. Create an empathy map for each of your users, and then expand the information created into a full experience map that demonstrates the difference in experience that can be expected among different personas.

  4. Create a new prototype demonstrating an updated onboarding experience and core functionality in your app. Informally test the new prototype with a few users to see how it does, and make changes based on the most important problem you identify.


  • Personas for your app based on your user research and usability testing.

  • Empathy maps for each persona, as part of the persona.

  • An experience map incorporating all of your personas.

  • A new prototype of your Bootcamp app designed to demonstrate the lessons you’ve learned through an onboarding process and a demonstration of core functionality.

  • Notes on how understanding the personas, needs and behaviors of your users helped improve the app experience.


3 weeks from the assignment of the project.