Conceptual design is an important skill in Software Engineering. Teaching conceptual design that can deliver a useful product is challenging, particularly when access to real users is limited. This study explores the effects of the use of Holistic Personas (i.e. a persona enriched with personality traits) on students’ performance in creating conceptual designs. Our results indicate that the students were able to identify the personality traits of personas and their ratings of the personalities match closely with the intended personalities. A majority of the participants stated that their designs were tailored to meet the needs of the given personas’ personality traits. Results suggest that the Holistic Personas can help students to take into account personality traits in the conceptual design process. Further studies are warranted to assess the value of incorporating Holistic Personas in conceptual design training for imparting skills of producing in-depth design by taking personalities into account.