When creating a new website, thinking about the end-users of the website is always important. Bring the best experiences for website users is the main purpose of a website. However, there are many designers focus too much on creating a website that will impress their clients, forgetting the audience who really matter.
If you are a designers, what you need to do is you should talk with your clients, make sure your clients is thinking the right way and you need to keep focusing on the intended audience. You should focusing to create features which include in the design and which can greatly improve the user experience to make sure that the audience will love these features. This is very important because clients always have tendency to forget the main purpose of creating a website than the designers.
First identify the audience
To have a great starting point, you should know exactly who are your main audience? Are they kids? Male or Female? Geeks or whoever… but, you need to define the audience of the site as clearly as possible. If you can’t, you should use the time-tested method of creating personas and working out a target audience based on the personas you created. And if you have enough budgets, you can meet and hire a professional marketing consultant, who can give you the good advices.
Tailor the interface to suit the primary audience
Once you’ve got the fundamental concept of who you’re designing for (it’s not your client, remember!). Now is the time to make UI decisions based on the definition of that audience.
So for example, if we’re designing for young kids, then the decisions we’d make would be something like this:
- Simple layout with no advanced navigation techniques, site search etc…
- Large, rounded sans-serif fonts (consider cartoon styles).
- Maximal use of images, particularly illustrations
- More use of bold typeface than normal
- More use of primary colors than normal
- Minimal text, lots of white space
- More animations than normal
If we’re designing for geeks, then the choices would be very different:
- Complex layouts with sophisticated navigation system
- More emphasis on text, using highly relevant images only to enhance the text
- Smaller fonts, consider serif when it’s important that text is highly readable
- Use charts, graphs, and tables for data presentation
- Use photo-realistic images whenever possible
- Minimal use of bright colors, avoidance of pure primary colors unless they’re relevant
- Avoid animations unless essential
If you were designing a site for sports fans in their 20s, then you’d have quite different criteria again
- More use of images
- Tendency towards bright non-primary colors
- Sans-serif fonts, big images and headings
- More use of bullet points, etc…
So, with 3 examples above, you can see that with the different audiences, we will have the different criteria in design. Thereby, we can see more clearly the importance of identifying your audience when starting to design a website.
Don’t let your clients sabotage themselves!
A good website design should focus on the audience of the site, not your client. However, clients always want to make suggestions and recommendations based on what they like to see in the site, you need to remind them that it can destroy all the good work you do and user experience on their sites also. So, let put user experience on top and do your best!