Web Design with the Audience in Mind
It cannot be emphasized enough that modern web design must be conducted with a specific audience in mind. The target audience for your website affects the web design in various ways, and it takes a considerable amount of skill to achieve a website that pleases, and is useful for, the eventual audience.
Naturally businesses want to present themselves well through their website, but finding a balance between material that represents the business and content that directly targets the user is the secret of a good web page design. The purpose of any website design should be effective communication, and to communicate effectively, knowledge of the person you’re talking to is required.
Simply identifying your target audience can be a complex process in itself, but is essential for effective web page design. While many website owners would like to get as many visitors to their site as possible, it can be more useful to aim a web page design towards a smaller, niche market to ensure that your viewers are those most likely to make a purchase or pursue your business further. In terms of website visitors, quality is always better than quantity.
There are some clear target audience identifiers that influence web design. These include the age of your audience, which will influence the way information is presented; level of education, which dictates the type of language used; and technical knowledge, as an end-user with a high level of technical knowledge will allow you to use more complex and impressive technical systems.
The intended audience influences just about every component of a web design. The general style of a website design must reflect the audience that views it. The website can be compared to clothing, in that the user will only be interested in the website design if it suits their own sense of fashion. The images and graphics used in a web design also must be chosen carefully to appeal to the audience. Images can appeal to the viewer’s emotions or aesthetic sensibilities. What may spark one person’s interest, will turn another away.
Similarly, the modes of communication you offer on your website must be suited to the user’s preferences. Many younger users will be happy to connect with your business over a variety of social networking sites, while others will appreciate a live instant messaging service for help and support. Older users may be relieved to find a prominently displayed phone number, so that they can bypass navigating the website altogether.
There are many more factors to designing a website for a specific audience, but simply determining who a web design is targeted to is the first step to success.