A lot of website designers tend to make the mistake of designing a site that impresses their clients but little for the end user. It is ultimately the end user who will be visiting the website and interacting with it. Hence, a designer should aim to create a site that is intended for the target audience, ensuring that he does not ruin client expectations in the process.
Where clients go wrong
The majority of clients who end up with websites not liked by their customers often forget the very purpose of their site in the design phase. They insist on creating a website that looks amazing and quite impressive, often forgetting that it is not them, but the end user who needs to be impressed by the site.
Ways to achieve target demographic specific website design
Here are some ways in which a designer can create a website based on the target demographic and end up pleasing the clients in the process as well.
- Identify the target audience
It is essential that a site designer focus on the target audience from the very start of the design phase. The target audience will determine the exact look and feel of the website. For instance, a website designed for business customers will be very different from one that is designed for a rock star. Similarly, a website designed for an adult audience will be very different from one designed for kids.
In case you already have a target audience to work with, you can start the design phase immediately. However, if you are yet to identify your audience, you will need to create personas first and then work out the target audience based on these personas.
Plan the interface around the primary audience
After identifying the target audience, you will need to plan an interface based on this audience. All the UI decisions you make need to be based on the basic definition of this audience. Let’s take a few examples into account here.
If you are designing a website for kids, then the chosen design needs to center on basic factors like a simple layout, simple navigational tools, large and easy to read fonts, minimal text, bold typeface, maximum use of images and animations and maximum use of primary colors, etc.
On the other hand, if your website is intended for nerds, then your design plan should center on features like a complex layout, sophisticated navigational tools, relevant photo-realistic images, smaller fonts, minimal use of bright or primary colors, minimal use of animations and more emphasis on text, etc.
Let’s take yet another example. Suppose you are designing a website for a sports team, you will have to work with an entirely different set of criteria again. For instance, you will need to choose a design that centers on maximum use of images (big sized ones too), use of bright but non-primary colors, readable fonts, and generous use of headings and bullet points, etc.
Don’t let the clients ruin the design
Clients have a tendency to destroy an absolutely perfect website design by insisting on adding their own suggestions and recommendations. While they prefer on seeing what they like in the site, they miss out on what the end user wants to see. Constantly remind them that it is the target audience whose impression matters most here. It may sound rude at first, but your clients will gradually get the idea and back off. If you fail to do this, then you are not only letting your client down, but letting down yourself as a talented web designer as well.
Don’t ruin the design yourself
The same rule that applies to your clients applies to you as well. You may get tempted to add a few creative design pieces here and there to show off your skills as a designer. However, understand that until they are absolutely necessary, these design pieces will only contribute to slowing down the website and hindering its functionality. So stop insisting on elements that you like and keep the preferences of the target audience in mind alone when designing the site.
It is essential that a designer design a website keeping the target audience in mind. This is the only way a website will truly hit its mark when it comes to making an impression with the end user as well as the client who sanctioned the design.