How to Design for a Particular Audience

In the design world there are many different alleyways that designers can go down. Think about all of the different companies that design with an audience in mind. For example: Nike, McDonalds, Apple, etc. Companies tailor their designs to a specific audience for several reasons. This article will help you figure out how to design for a particular audience and the benefits that come from that.


Who is your Audience?

First, think of your audience. Who would want or buy your product? Put yourself into the shoes of your target audience. What is something that would keep them coming to your site. Would you be interested in what you offer? An important thing to keep in mind is to put your own bias and feelings aside and think of the client or the audience that you are trying to tailor to.

If you are designing for a younger generation, accessibility is key. You want to have an easy website to maneuver where you can quickly locate information. When you are looking at a website that has a lot of information on it, don’t you get lost in it? The more organized the information the easier to hold the viewer’s attention. There is no point in designing something that you know how to use, but no one else does. Think about things in the big picture and always remember, a happy client means a happy designer.

If you have a widely varied audience, find a common theme between them. An example would be, if you are designing something for kids, think of the adults that will buy the products. Common theme between them would be the fact that they want their kids to be happy, and kids want products that will keep them entertained. So, in this case, I would design a website with bright colors but use sophisticated design to be the commonality between the two.


What do they want?

Second, what is your audience looking for? If people are coming to you, it’s because they’re looking for something. Whether it be to look at the products that you have or to do some research, they have now made it to your website.

You want your website to be able to hold your viewer’s attention. Make sure that they are going to come back to you again and use your services. Draw their attention by using a cohesive color palette, interesting designs, organized information. Make it simple.

To do this, focus most of your attention on your home page. This is the first thing that your viewers will see when they look at your products. You want to make sure that the home page represents your company and the products that you are promoting. If you have a boring or unorganized home page, that reflects on your company and the products that you are selling.


Homework helps!

Lastly, do your homework! Ask your followers or viewers what they are interested in seeing on your site. That way you can tailor your site specifically to what your audience is most interested in.

Some ways to grab advice from your viewers can be a simple poll. It’s anonymous, which allows your followers to be completely honest. Another method is simply asking them. If it’s in person or online, say that you are taking a brief survey if they are interested in answering your questions.

This may be hard to do for some, but it’ll be worth it in the end when your clients are happy, and you, as the designer feel good about providing the best services you can to your clients.

In the realm of learning, it is important to identify your audience in order to develop a training product that meets the needs of those learners. They came to your website looking for answers, so just know your audience and how you can best help them learn what they came to learn.

So, all in all, we learned that you must set aside your own opinions and think of the opinions of your clients. Don’t design for yourself. Accessibility is key. Select your target audience. Lastly, ask your clients what they want to see in your site. After all, they are the ones that are keeping your business afloat. Instead of thinking about your business and how you can prosper, think of your clients and what they want. A simple question can go a long ways. So, what can you do for your clients today?

Ashlee is an Intermediate Instructional and Graphic Designer on the Learning and Professional Development team and has a background in Graphic Design and Photography. With over eight years of Photography and Graphic Design experience, Ashlee brings a unique talent and perspective to the team. She joined the Learning & Professional Development team in 2014 as a student worker and now works full time as an Instructional & Graphic Designer. She primarily works with Adobe products and is using her knowledge to help develop exciting new trainings. This opportunity allows Ashlee to reach out to the NAU community and create interactive ways students and staff can learn.

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