I was working on prep for a class I teach and realized how much we talk about targeting the right audience and I have never mentioned that here. So I decided to put together a few tips on designing for your audience.
First off you need to determine who your audience is.
Your business or service might be so cut and dry you know exactly who your customer is, that’s great. Some of us have a wide range of potential customers and industries we can target which makes targeting a little more difficult.
A few things we can ask ourselves to determine who we are talking to:
- What is the age range of our customer? There are so many ways to break out the age
range; youth, adult, senior as one example.
If you have a product geared toward a specific decade then you might
want to break it out further for that group.
Once you determine your target age range you can focus on trends that
appeal to that group. For example youth would be attracted to cartoonish or
brighter colors, where as seniors would enjoy a little more muted colors and
imagery of folks a little closer to their age group.
- What might the possible educational level
be? Educational level meaning high school graduate,
tech school training, undergrad degree, graduate degree, and higher. Knowing this information will help to
determine appealing content that might appeal to various education levels. For example youth will would require simple
phrases since they typically don’t have a wide vocabulary yet, where as someone
with a graduate degree would be more drawn to a more diverse wording.
- Is our audience technically savvy or at least internet savvy? Technically savvy markets will be surfing the web and using a computer on a daily basis for work. Of course there are ranges of savvy comfort levels but for the most part they can troubleshoot simple technical challenges and know when to ask an expert for help. Less savvy users might have a little technology fear because they don’t use it for work. To apply this for a web site design I would know that savvy visitors will know where to find common site navigation and how to submit a form. So direction can be minimal and content can get to the point. Less savvy visitors would need some hand holding, my home page might give an overview of where to find things on each page and possibly even how to navigate the site. Forms would have details on how to fill out and submit instead of anticipating they already know.