Often times I am approached by a client who has an idea in their mind of exactly what they want their website to look like. And, I am not saying that’s a bad thing at all. Believe me, it’s so much easier to work with a client who knows what they do want, than to work with one who doesn’t.

But, the problem is, sometimes the client is so stuck in their own head, with their own preconceived ideas, that they aren’t open to suggestions on changes.

Here’s the thing this type of client seems to forget — their website isn’t for them, it’s for their website visitors!

Know Your Audience

A website design should always be done with the end user in mind. Too many website designers focus on impressing their clients, by producing exactly what they want, and are forgetting that it’s really the client’s audience that matters.

And, clients need to remember this as well.

A good website developer will help the client identify their target audience and then offer website design suggestions geared towards that audience.

Are they targeting techy people? Kids? Moms? Business owners?

A lot of times clients think, because they are selling on their internet, and there are millions of people online, that their target audience is everybody. They thing is, not “everybody” is interested in your product or company. You need to define it quite a bit more narrowly than that.

Having a clearly defined audience helps the designer come up with an appropriate starting point to build the website upon. Once the audience has been defined, the website designer can then begin the task of tailoring the website to that particular audience.

Designing For The Audience

Once your audience has been identified,  then the actual website design can be envisioned. The client may have it in their mind that they want a website that is full of crazy colors and lots of fonts. However, if the target audience is business people, that type of design would not attract them or entice them to stay on the website.

The ultimate goal of your website, besides delivering helpful information, is to engage your visitors and get them to interact with your website.

You want them to move from page to page, therefore it’s important that they feel comfortable navigating and reading your site.

If you are appealing to business people you aren’t going to want to use lots of bright colors and crazy illustrations. And, if you are trying to appeal to teenagers you aren’t going to want to use bland, earthy colors and images they would find boring.

Conclusion

Sadly, many website designers don’t consider the issue of audience definition, before designing a website, and instead try to concentrate on what the client already has in mind, or on how they can make the client’s website their next great “work of art.”

Designers like this are blowing it for their clients. Clients rely on our expertise to help them understand their audience and drive sales and conversions for them.

A website is an extension of a business, and is generally used to communicate with the current and potential customers of that business. Knowing the audience the website will be catering to helps to tailor the website to them, not the client’s or designers wants and whims.

Because the thing is, if we aren’t building a website for the audience that our client’s are trying to appeal to, we might as well not bother at all.

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Image Credit: FirmBee / Pixabay

Nora Kramer
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Nora Kramer

Lead Web Designer & Developer at Nora Kramer Designs
Nora Kramer is a website professional and online marketing consultant with over two decades of experience in graphic design, website development and company branding. She also has a passion for photography and writing. Nora received the Charlie Award (1st Place) in 2002 for "Best Magazine Feature Article of the Year" from the Florida Magazine Association.
Nora Kramer
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