In the study of communication, persona is a term given to describe the versions of self that all individuals possess. Behaviours are selected according to the desired impression an individual wishes to create when interacting with other people. Therefore, personas presented to other people vary according to the social environment the person is engaged in, in particular the persona presented before others will differ from the persona an individual will present when he/she happens to be alone.
Personas How To:
When designing personae it is best to base it on solid data gathered using methods described in sections of this site like interviews, observation, diaries, etc. Analysis of the data presented in your gatherings will highlight certain issues or habits that people may have. These important nuggets of information can be used in the formation of characters that represent the similar groupings of people identified previously.
Examples of Personas:
There is no set parameters for personas and they come in all forms depending on the subject that they are intended to service. They could range from a more empathic view of a character right through to a persona more centred on requirements.