Designing with Pandemic Personas

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Using Pandemic Personas as part of your COVID CX response toolkit.

We have all adapted our lives in response to the unprecedented disruption the COVID-19 pandemic has caused; we’ve changed the way we work, the way we shop, how we travel, how we socialise… and so have your customers.

Using Pandemic Personas as part of your COVID-19 CX response toolkit, you can give your business the insight it needs to think differently and stay ahead. Building on our original Pandemic Personas tools which were developed in June 2020, the Engine Service Design team have tapped into our online customer community, researched the makers and breakers in relation to people dealing with the pandemic, and new characteristics have emerged in 2021.

The full Pandemic Personas pack contains detailed information on how each Persona has evolved and adapted behaviour, including how they prefer to purchase and pay for items, and how their attitude towards travel, health, wellbeing, shopping, and entertainment will evolve over the coming months. This resource will help you understand and design services and experiences for people with different needs and attitudes towards the Covid-19 climate.

Here’s a summary of each of the 11 Personas (don’t forget to download the full pack for the detailed insights mentioned above):

Download Pandemic Personas Pack


Having sheltered or lived extremely cautiously for almost a year, The Emerger, now vaccinated, is engaging in everyday activities with more confidence and is enjoying experiences they have abstained from or been denied.


Whilst aware of the guidelines, The Independent manages the risk of catching or transmitting COVID on a case-by-case basis relying upon their judgement and experience to stay safe.


Having recovered from COVID and now immune, The Invincible operates with complete freedom and enjoys experiences that others are not yet comfortable doing.


The Freethinker is sceptical about the pandemic, questions the effectiveness of regulations and guidelines, and is not overly concerned about the risks of catching or transmitting the virus.


Keen to help defeat the virus, The Diligent diligently follows the guidelines to ensure they stay safe and don’t transmit the virus.


Recognising the impact of the pandemic on their community, The Advocate consciously supports local businesses, initiatives, and individuals to help them through the pandemic.


The Guardian believes everyone should do as much as they can to reduce the transmission of the virus and will speak up when they see others not adhering to guidelines or regulations.


The Vigilant takes it upon themselves to ensure they and their surroundings are safe from the virus and the risk of transmission is minimised


The Solitary has found pleasure in the calm and seclusion the pandemic has brought into their lives. Feeling less pressured to be social and active, the thought of things going back to how they were is unappealing.


The Adapter follows advice and takes the precautions necessary to stay safe. They embrace change and are quick to adapt their behaviours to make the best of the new normal.


The pandemic has enabled The Evaluator to step back and re-evaluate what is most important to them; how they wish to live and spend their time and money.

By thinking through how the Pandemic Personas may behave in a diverse range of scenarios, we can begin to design a future that allows customers across this spectrum to fulfil their needs and thrive.

Our Pandemic Personas aim to provide a starting point for helping teams focus on customers’ new needs and attitudes.

Ideally one would enrich them further with brand and sector-specific research, which we can help with, but we hope they may be of immediate use when thinking about how to fix, reimagine or innovate services and customer experiences.

If you’d like to discuss how best to use these and other assets in our CX Design toolkit, drop us a line at to arrange a time to speak.

Or, click here to download the full 2021 Pandemic Personas Pack:

Download Pandemic Personas Pack

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