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Designing for your Target Audience

Research from Stanford University shows that 46.1% of people say a website’s design is the top criteria for deciding if a company is credible or not1. So it’s essential that your website is designed with your target audience in mind, after all if potential customers and clients are turned off as soon as they see your site then they are unlikely to explore the other pages, no matter how great the product or service you are offering. Conversely, get the design right and you will increase trust in your company; customers will be comforted by knowing you understand them.

Who is your target audience?
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it, but how well do you really know who you are targeting? Ask yourself some questions about your audience to focus your thinking; what do they do, what products do they use, what is their age range, what else do you know about them? Answer all these questions and you’ll be on the right track.

Research user behaviour
Doing research doesn’t need to mean spending big money. If you interact regularly with customers have a chat about why they choose one product over another. Likewise talk to customers that you provide a service to and ask them how they make a decision about what company to use. Any information you can glean from them will help you understand your customers’ needs and motives.

What are you trying to achieve?
Again, obvious, but a commonly overlooked question. What exactly is it you want your website to achieve? Is it all about selling a product, promoting a certain image or disseminating information? How your website is designed will be different depending on your goals.

Make use of analytics
If you’re redesigning an existing site, make use of analytics to see how people move around the site; what pages are popular, where do users most commonly exit the site and what search terms are most frequently used to find your site?

If you’re setting up a new website, make sure that you start checking the analytics from launch date, so you can pick up issues quickly and make necessary tweaks.

Audience appropriate design
So, you know your audience and what you are trying to achieve, now make sure your design is appropriate to them. If you’re targeting an over 70 demographic, don’t make social media your main means of contact, likewise if you’re trying to attract kids make it interactive and fun and use age appropriate language and images.

Working with a designer
Be sure to communicate your analysis and findings clearly to your chosen designer, it’s important that they understand your audience as well as you do. A good designer will take time to talk to you about these things before they start to design and will be happy to amend their work if you don’t think it is hitting the right target.

At AVAMAE we pride ourselves on our communication and relationship building. We take time to get to know you, your needs and your audience before we embark on the design of your project. We’ve also got great design talent who would love to share their creative ideas with you. If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you with designing your web project, contact us for a chat.

1How do users evaluate the credibility of websites – Stanford University
http://www.itu.dk/~rgsindberg/UAeksamen/U%20Slides/Artikel%20med%20brugerevaluering.pdf

30 July 2014
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Oliver Pluckrose
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