Among all the potential customers you are developing, there will be a group of them who will love your product the most. Crafting a niche can be laborious, though. That’s why I like using proto-personas. I focused on my ideal customer needs, traits, and behaviors.

What are Proto-Personas?

Proto-Personas are a starting off point to grow data-driven personas for your customer profiles.

The proto-persona is mostly built upon my assumptions, research, and experience. It will be up to me to validate my assumptions as I move forward.

For example, an assumption is that my ideal customer is likely to be agencies, studios, and any person or entity with a prioritized backlog of paid projects. If I were to be wrong then it would mean updating my proto persona with the newly learned information.


Agency Alexia

Purpose / Goal

Works everyday in a place that she loves. This enables her to contribute to the company’s high-level purpose and goal which is to grow the business.


Trying to find talent who understands the continuous improvement cycle and has expertise in the design stacks from each phase of the process.


My customer sells personalized products and services, and does not promote ‘blanket’ or ‘one-size-fits-all’ services.

Persona Story

My ideal customer already has a backlog of paid projects that is prioritized and ready to execute. The customer has a finite understanding of the work it needs to accomplish and is ready to decide on a new hire to take on such projects. The description of projects in the backlog comes from the three phases of the continuous improvement process: (1) research, (2) strategy, (3) design.


Other unknowns are whether the ideal customer already has a UX department, do they sell UX services, who does the UX for them currently, why are they seeking UX talent right now, what is their current design process look like, etc

Resources on Proto-Personas

Buyer persona is not a waste of time
Personas with Digital Telepathy
Sixteen Ventures and the ideal customer
Proto-personas with New Media Denver