When designing a website, it’s vital to create a design that matches your target audience.
Whether designing a website yourself or through an agency, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of trying to please ourselves (or our boss), and forget that a successful website needs human visitors who use it, enjoy it, and buy from it.
However, unless your best customer is you, you’ll need to turn your focus away from what you like in a website design, and towards what your users need and want.
A User Experience Expert's Opinion
How to Match your Website Design to your Target Audience
Here are our top four tips for you to consider:
1. Define your target audience
- How old are they?
- What are their problems (especially ones that you can solve with your product or service)?
- How busy are they?
- Do they use desktop computers or mobile devices?
- Put together some user personas that help you narrow your audience down to your most profitable targets.
2. Talk to your target audience
Too often we turn into mind-readers, believing we know what our users want and how they’ll likely behave on our site.
- The truth is that users always surprise us, and the only way of knowing what they will and won’t respond to is to talk to the audience.
- Analytics help but don’t do a good job of showing human experience.
- You can “talk” to users with simple online surveys, even if it only includes one question: “Would this feature be beneficial to you?”.
- Additionally, you can conduct focus groups to walk users through your old website and get feedback on new design ideas.
At a minimum you want to have a brief conversation with some representative customers who have used your old site and will be using your new one. They’re usually willing to share what frustrates them most, and how your new design can make their day better.
3. Make broad design decisions to match your website design to your target audience
- Older audience? Use larger, clearer fonts.
- Busy audience? Limit the number of choices.
- Younger audience? Use images in favor of text.
- Geeky audience? Use charts, graphs, and tables for data presentation.
4. Don’t sabotage your own web design
One of the most difficult parts of a web design project is keeping the focus on your users and not on yourself. Furthermore, a good web team will help with that, but you must let them.
A popular cartoon shows how a web redesign project can go off the rails without proper collaboration.
So hire an agency whose expertise you trust, and take their advice. Once the site is launched and you can change things yourself (because you’re in WordPress, of course), don’t let it creep back to what it was before the redesign. Furthermore, keep your users involved, and learn from them what changes to make.
Want to talk with AndiSites about how to ensure you match your website design with your target audience? We’d love to work with you, so contact us today!