A persona represents a large portion of the solutions need by customer/user population. Utilizing research driven insights, categories of users are drawn up, with specific actions driven by a mental model and focused on behavior rather than business need. Rapid field study activities drive user stories that demonstrate the when, where, why and how a customer/user group would use the solution, as well as its value proposition. Personas remove personal bias during design and keep the team focused on the user. They often include key motivators, tasks, goals, needs, behaviors, attributes and overall site feature needs.
Personas can be unique to each client, but reusable in terms of insight and design direction for the oversight design and features.