How to Design for a Particular Target Audience

 In Advice, Design

Design can be a tricky thing. For some people, it comes naturally. For others, it takes a bit more focus, trial and error, and research. Research is especially important when it comes to designing for a particular targeted audience. Design is not typically random, but well thought out and planned. Keep in mind that the steps for this process depend on where you are on your design journey.

Here’s some advice for ways to design to a particular target audience

Research

In order to design based on your customers’ wants and needs, you will first need to define your target market. You can’t effectively give people what they are looking for without knowing who they are first. An essential first step of design is finding who your audience is. Researching the demographics (age, gender, income, etc.) of your audience is a good place to start.

Research is even easier once you have an established customer base. Your loyal customers will likely be willing to take a short survey on what works (and what doesn’t) with your current designs. However asking the right questions is key here. Ask your current audience about specific parts of design that speak to them and draw them in. If you don’t already have an established audience, you can research similar products and do things like beta testing.

Trial and Error

If you’re completely starting from scratch, you will probably go through a period of trial and error. It can certainly test your patience, but you have to start somewhere. It’s important to keep trying new things and test what works and what doesn’t. Some people may tell you that design is a science (and it may be to an extent) but it comes down to testing concepts and finding things  that hook on to your audience. Once you start figuring things out, a snowball effect will occur and your overall design will start coming together.

It can be discouraging at times, but keep going!

Lower Your Bias

Remember: in marketing you are designing for your audience, not just for yourself. For example, if research shows that your target audience tends to be drawn to the color blue, use the color blue. Even if you dislike it. Be smart and use the research to build your designs. Try not to pick and choose what parts of the research to use to your advantage.

Completely removing your bias is a common piece of advice you will hear around the internet. However this also depends on what you are trying to do with your design and who you are looking to sell to. Creativity is a key component to design, and completely removing any bias can begin to stunt creativity growth. Put your own flair into designs, but be smart.

Use Basic Design Knowledge

A few basic, key points of website design are:

Visual Hierarchy: Simply put, things that are bigger get more attention. 

Color Scheme: This chart by The Logo Company comes in handy when learning how to convey a certain message through color. 

Functionality: Do not make design a priority over function. Good design works in your favor, but becomes a problem when it is an obstacle in the way of a transaction or navigation. Play around with new ideas, but make sure your audience can easily work through your website.

Here is a very important take away: Make sure to create a web design that is attractive enough to bring on new customers or clients while simultaneously catering to the needs of your current clients. While it is great to attract new people, many people make the mistake of not providing enough support and consistency to the potentially loyal customers or clients. Balance is key.

More Research, More Trial and Error

The more you grow, the more resources you will have to work with. This will provide more opportunities for new research, more experimental design, and so on. Remember to continue to update when you see fit and look for ways to improve.

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