Creating manageable persona sets from large user populations

Bernard J. Jansen, Joni Salminen, Soon Gyo Jung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Creating personas from actual online user information is an advantage of the data-driven persona approach. However, modern online systems often provide big data from millions of users that display vastly different behaviors, resulting in possibly thousands of personas representing the entire user population. We present a technique for reducing the number of personas to a smaller number that efficiently represents the complete user population, while being more manageable for end users of personas. We first isolate the key user behaviors and demographical attributes, creating thin personas, and we then apply an algorithmic cost function to collapse the set to the minimum needed to represent the whole population. We evaluate our approach on 26 million user records of a major international airline, isolating 1593 personas. Applying our approach, we collapse this number to 493, a 69% decrease in the number of personas. Our research findings have implications for organizations that have a large user population and desire to employ personas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI EA 2019 - Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359719
StatePublished - May 2 2019
Event2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: May 4 2019May 9 2019

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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