Well-crafted personas are actually behavioral audience segments with names and faces attached (demographics attached). Behavioral audience segments are differentiated based on the way people tend to reason their way toward a specific purpose, like “lose weight,” “decide which/whether college might be right for me,” or “run my department without loss.”
The segments are based on the same data that is used to create a mental model diagram, assessed by person rather than by concept. A well-crafted behavioral audience segment can become a persona by adding a name and a face.
This comic, created by Brad Colbow for Indi, introduces the basics of creating behavioral audience segments. The examples shown in this comic are labeled as roles by accident, so ignore that. It was originally published in August 2011 at ThinkVitamin, which then became Multi-Cell Design. At some point it became unavailable, so it was later republished as The Power of Personas by the authors for UXmas in December 2013.