Header Ads Widget

Jobs-to-Be-Done vs. Personas: What's The Difference?

There is some disagreement over which of the two common approaches to user-centered design—user personas and Jobs-To-Be-Done—is the most effective.

While there are, in fact, some issues with the persona method, this technique aids in some crucial design aspects that the JTBD method is unable to cover, according to a careful analysis of both the persona and JTBD methods and the insights gained from field practice.

Personas have been a helpful tool in user-centered design processes for a while, but jobs-to-be-done, a fresh approach to focusing on user needs, has been steadily gaining ground recently. Let's discuss more about it in our given article.

What is JTBD?

A framework called "jobs to be done" can be applied to help define a product's scope, specifications, or positioning in the market. It is predicated on the idea that when a person purchases a good or service, they are actually hiring it to perform a specific task rather than actually purchasing it: People desire a quarter-inch hole, not a quarter-inch drill.

Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD) repositions the emphasis from an idealised or collective user to what your actual users hope to achieve with your product.

With this method, the task that your target audience wants your product to complete as its starting point for the design process. Asking what function your customers are "hiring" your product to perform is preferable to creating a representation of your users. A JTBD strategy begins by posing the question, "What do our users really want?"

JTBD has no defined process or particular artefacts that will consistently appear as a result of its implementation, in contrast to user personas.

Four main aspect of JTBD


Exposure introduces the product's context by briefly describing the who, what, when, and where (but not the why).


The behavior of the current and previous users, including the products they are using, is identified in the observation step.

Contextual Analysis

The situational analysis explains the difficulties that customers encounter and what is driving them toward various solutions while focusing on the motivations and anxieties of the users.

Job To Be Done

Finally, the job to be done itself concerns the desired result that the user is seeking. It should describe what the user should be able to do at a higher level rather than offering a solution, such as a product, feature, or requirement.

What is Personas 

Personas can be approached in many different ways. Some are not very well off, while others just manage to fit in. They only serve specific functions in both situations, which shouldn't include product design and development. They are formalized archetypes that take the form of fictional but accurate characters. Despite the fact that many designers claim to use personas, when we look at their actual work, we find that the term "personas" encompasses a wide variety of very different material

The information that a persona configures differs significantly from one designer to another, and as a result, this technique's potential also varies. There are four distinct types of personas, as can be seen by carefully observing the various methods of doing them.

Photo persona

The first type of persona is a proto-persona rather than a true persona, and all subsequent types of personas may either be true personas or proto-personas.

Proto-personas are based on theories about the users rather than actual research. The individuals responsible for creating this kind of persona must possess in-depth knowledge about the actual users. Proto-Personas should never serve as the foundation for formulating product requirements; rather, they should be used as a first step to direct further user research.

Empathy personas

These are constructed around a persona's background story, which is a narrative about the persona's life and circumstances, and typically include a name, age, picture, and quotation.

The development team may benefit from using this kind of persona to foster empathy, which will keep them motivated throughout the project.

Demographics/Marketing Personas

The worst that can happen when an empathy persona is used for objectives other than those mentioned above is that it might be a waste of time, but marketing/demographic personas can harm your product development. In order to understand the user's behaviours and desires, marketing personas place a strong emphasis on demographic information.

Since there is no real causal relationship between demographics, objectives, and behaviours, this is the type of personas that the majority of job-to-be-done defenders rise up against. Prejudices and stereotypes are frequently to blame for the observed patterns.

Goal Oriented Personas

Goal-oriented/design personas, the fourth method, puts the persona's background and demographics on a secondary plan and concentrates on goals and needs.

These personas clearly define needs, frustrations, and behaviours, as well as life goals, experience goals, and end goals. This kind of persona closely resembles the methodology for the jobs to be done while maintaining some of the qualities that give personas some of their power, one that goes beyond inspiring empathy to inspire the team.


Combining the JTBD method and personas could be a solution. Create personas, but in a manner that is more in line with the work to be done:

  • Avoid demographics as much as possible or, if necessary, make sure they are pertinent to the context of each individual product;
  • Replace the exposition with a background story, with the difference being that the first one is about the person's life and the second one is about the setting in which the product is used;
  • limit behaviour descriptions to those relevant to the product context Instead of adhering to the traditional persona's inclusion of additional hobbies that concerned more the lifestyle than the goals, in a manner similar to observation;
  • Despite the work that needs to be done for that persona, dig a little deeper into the user's needs and frustrations (similar to the "situational analysis" in JTBD), as well as the "user-goals";

User personas are helpful in developing empathy and identifying pain points users experience when completing a given task in order to reach the end goal, whereas JTBD is useful in clarifying end goals.

In the end, if we can put an end to the conflict and accept the complementary strengths of both viewpoints, their combined influence may have a profound and dynamic impact on the products we decide to design, their quality and usability, and the variety of users who are able to use them in their daily lives.

Post a Comment