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Why NACAC Printed Life-Sized Personas

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education.

Brightfind and NACAC are in the midst of a website redesign for http://www.nacacnet.org/. Part of this project entailed creating personas, or fictional characters representative of NACAC’s target audiences, based on user research conducted by Brightfind.

Prioritizing the Most Important Audiences

It’s clear to NACAC that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for their constituents, which is why they set out to create personas. They knew that a high school counselor wouldn’t be interested in the same content as a college admissions counselor. With so many different types of members, NACAC relies on personas to focus and prioritize their efforts.

The more NACAC uses these new personas, the more they will maximize their investment and reach their most important audiences. 

Embracing New Personas

Leading this process on NACAC’s side is Kristen Garman, Associate Director of Communications, Publications, and Technology.

According to Kristen, this wasn’t NACAC’s first attempt at implementing personas.  Their last personas were developed several years ago, but sat untouched and unimplemented across the organization. So how did they ensure that personas were universally embraced this time around? They had a creative solution: placing life-sized cut outs around the office.

“Blowing up our new personas reminds our staff to identify which audience they are serving before they even begin a project,” Kristen explained.



The broader NACAC team loves the bold reminder and has begun bringing the personas into meetings. Most react to life-sized cut outs with a, “Wow, that’s pretty cool!”


Kristen concluded, “We are excited to launch our website this fall and are working hard to get there. Our experience with Brightfind has been great, and we are thrilled to be working together. We know that we’re in good hands.”


Christie Gunden

Written by Christie Gunden