They (personas) were useful for getting other librarians invested in the site redesign effort, as well as in making decisions on navigation structure and design elements.
Personas were created based on various Library users we have encountered, e.g. students with poor computer skills, students with disabilities, Transitional Studies/ESL students. When the students evaluate the UX testing tasks, they also tried to do that from the perspective of the persona assigned to them. That perspective was very helpful for us.
Personas (crafted) based on institutional data, user survey responses, website analytics, and their experiences with users. Having people who were front-line staff who encountered students and faculty library users on a regular basis was invaluable to the process of creating these personas.
We found it very important to think about what a users life outside the library might be like and what language(s) they speak, so this was included in our persona exercise. We also found it very useful to think about the “jobs” users might want to perform–or the tasks they might need to get done on the website as part of their personas. We also incorporated “Take 5” Critical Race Theory into our persona building process.