This world-leading Australian university hosts more than 60,000 students, more than a third of whom are from overseas.
The university faced challenges understanding its diverse student base and drawing meaningful conclusions at scale. To achieve this it sought to develop student personas, or archetypal groupings of students with similar characteristics; however, previous personas were missing information on how many students were represented in each persona and were not co-designed with end-users, so their usefulness was limited. The university sought Nous’ help to develop a set of personas to articulate students’ identity and needs and how to find them and help them achieve their goals.
We developed student personas using data to enhance their rigour, remove preconceptions and biases, quantify demographics and clearly represent different student groups. We:
We ultimately developed a set of seven personas with 14 supporting stories to highlight the differences within a single persona ‘cohort’. The personas can be further developed over time by tracking students through their university journey and adding new data points.
Our personas have supported a range of uses, including developing new content and pathways on the website and student portal. They are regularly consulted when designing new services, enhancing service models and onboarding new staff. Over time the university will be able to influence the path of the student throughout their journey to better support them to achieve their educational, social and career goals while at university and ensure they are maintained as loyal and engaged alumni beyond their studies.