A scenario is a “day in the life of” one of your personas. It should include both the persona’s daily working tasks as well as how your app or website fits into their lives.
Writing a scenario is as simple as taking your research and extrapolating from it to document the tasks that your persona’s perform when using your product.
A step by step guide to scenario mapping
A persona is a fictitious identity used to represent one of the user groups for who you are designing. They are created by taking both qualitative and quantitative data from; analytics, surveys, interviews user testing and other research techniques that the UX designer uses to craft a sketch of an ideal user.
A good persona needs a name, photo, realistic and research based motivations and goals, and a backstory rooted in reality.
Building data based personas
How To Create UX Personas (video)
An Introduction to user personas—UX Lady
Free Persona Template
The persona method has developed from being a method for IT system development to being used in many other contexts, including development of products, marketing, planning of communication, and service design. Despite the fact that the method has existed since the late 1990s, there is still no clear definition of what the method encompasses. Common understanding is that the persona is a description of a fictitious person, but whether this description is based on assumptions or data is not clear, and opinions also differ on what the persona description should cover.
This is the report I mentioned in class conducted by Nielsen Norman Group that surveyed nearly 1000 UX professionals. It has some interesting information for those seeking entry into the profession.
User Experience Careers
This 189-page free report analyzes how UX pros educated and trained themselves for their careers. We surveyed 963 people working in the field to find out what they do at work, what is most useful to know, and which kinds of people thrive in UX research, interaction design, and information architecture.