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Target Audience

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by violetriga, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. We all have to teach about target audiences, and it's something that I find quite frustrating sometimes. It is often difficult to explain how your audience influences your design. For example, OCR Nat Unit 21 asks students to detail the target audience for a menu bar. Well, what audiences could there be that significantly influence the design?

    The easiest one is designing for youngsters (primary colours, a "fun" font, large writing) and I find myself going back to that one all too often. Anyone got any other decent audiences to suggest?
     
  2. We all have to teach about target audiences, and it's something that I find quite frustrating sometimes. It is often difficult to explain how your audience influences your design. For example, OCR Nat Unit 21 asks students to detail the target audience for a menu bar. Well, what audiences could there be that significantly influence the design?

    The easiest one is designing for youngsters (primary colours, a "fun" font, large writing) and I find myself going back to that one all too often. Anyone got any other decent audiences to suggest?
     
  3. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

  4. Here is an interesting link to show how audiences can be categorised;

    http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/TRG1800/index.html

    Audience characteristics don't necessarily depend on the person; for example with web design it may be browser type, time constraints, technical knowledge etc.

    Presentations to audiences could include 'potential customers' of a product, or a idea pitch to business bosses or investors (e.g. dragons den style activities with sucessful/unsuccessful examples). Presentations to staff where bad news is being delivered will require a different style to that shown by a bonus announcement. Even though a funeral and wedding speech may be to the same people, the audience characteristics and therefore tone & content will be very different.

    As for a menu bar, the characteristics can be determined by the site and message; marketing goals, frequency of visits, number of website pages, familiaritiy of links, use of categories, and user understanding of position in website hierarchy. Do you want to encourage the use of a search facility or to entice users to a particular section.

    Hope this helps
     
  5. Nice table, Manteiga.

    But I think that many words would give my students palpitations.
     
  6. I tend to talk more about the difference between purpose and media of a publication and the target audience. Having looked at some of the websites suggested on here, Gotic.net v Classic FM, you can see that the layout is actually very similar. The purpose of a website, as well as the very fact that it is a website, affect the way it is set out but the colours and fonts etc.. are more directed by the audience.

    That is what I do with unit 2 of OCR Nationals.
     
  7. In web usability terms, the task of categorising (a navigation bar) is massively affected by audience.
    The traditional best techniques (user centred design) are to float potential menu names on a group of the target audience and statistically select favoured menu names.

    Dependant on audience you may use differing, language, category names, number of levels/sections and as you say colour and styling. As said elsewhere audience may include features beyond the person themselves (screen res, browser, visual ability etc) and I often like to extend this area with web design to search. You may produce a brilliant looking Nav in older versions of dreamweaver using fireworks/flash and or javascript, this doesn't mean a search spider can read it, so your audience may never find it!
     

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