There is a lot of confusion in the landing page optimization community regardingpersonas, cognitive styles, and roles. Often these terms are used loosely or interchangeably, with unfortunate results. I would like to set the record straight and cover the basics.
Rolescorrespond to specific classes of visitors interacting with your site. They are defined by their relationship to your website and call-to-action. The role breakdown can be basic, or it may need to beslightly more nuanced depending on your circumstances.
Here are some representative examples of possible roles:
* Plumbing-supply company Retail customers (looking to buy an individual replacementpart), plumbing contractors (need an array of parts for a specific customer job), wholesale buyers and real estate developers (need large volume price breaks and extended payment terms)
* Datingservice Prospective member (has not signed up yet), new member (has paid but has not set up a complete personal profile), experienced member (has done multiple searches and contacted other members)* Educational-saving-plan provider Future recipients (children under age 18), parents of recipients (who typically establish the plan), relatives and friends (who may contribute money to the plan)* Consumer e-tail company New visitors (who have not been to your site before), returning visitors (who have been there but have not bought yet), first-time buyers (trying to complete their firstpurchase), repeat buyers (who already have their information stored in your system), e-mail list members (who have signed up to hear about future special offers)
A persona is typically amade-up prototype of a person that is used to represent important classes of potential users of a product or service. They are imagined in a lot of detail (behaviors, workplace, activities, belief...