This article is part of our Website Design 101 series that has been written to provide an insight into some of the considerations we go through as website designers and developers. Our knowledge base comes from both a background in teaching web design at university level and almost 20 years experience in designing and developing websites for clients from varied industries and organisational size.

Our previous article Website Design 101 – What is the objective, discussed the overarching purpose of the website, what it needs to achieve and starting with that objective in mind before considering design or content.

This article discusses the website’s target market; that is, who your website needs to appeal to and who will be the people using it. At surface level, many businesses do not consider how to cater for their target market. They may know who currently purchases their product or service but they may not consider at a deeper level what motivates them, appeals to them or makes it easy for them to interact with your business.

Below we discuss a few topics that may provoke some thought about your target market and what can be done through your own website design to ensure they are catered for.

Gender

Depending on your business, gender may play a large part during the initial website design process.

If your website’s objective is to sell towbars for work related vehicles your audience may primarily be male. The website design may then reflect a rugged look and feel backing up how strong and durable the product may be.

On the other hand if you are selling newborn clothing and your target market is expecting mothers then a soft and clean look and feel may be appropriate.

Gender considerations also extend beyond the website design. Additional website features such as wish lists or send to a friend tend to invoke more of a response from a female market than they do a male audience.

Age

The age of your target market can hold relevance to a number of design considerations for your website including type size, the colours used, complexity of functions and the overall marketing message.

If your target market is skateboarding teenagers then they will have certain expectations of how the website should function, how dynamic it should appear and a reasonable level of interactivity. However if you are providing information to grey nomads about your bed & breakfast lodge you may find simplicity is going to be key to success online.

Budget

The cost of your product or service can also determine how you market your product and design your website. The cost of an item sets an expectation in the viewers mind as to the business that is selling the item.

If your online business is selling bespoke mens suiting then a viewer will reasonably expect that the business is one of high quality and the online presence and experience a customer receives will also be of a high standard.

If however your business sells budget hearing aid batteries online then there will be less expectation on quality of the experience and website design. The website still needs to function quickly and well however a warehouse or clearance design may be more appropriate.

Lifestyle / Family

The way in which your target market uses the Internet should also be considered when designing your website. Depending on your target market you may need to design and develop your website to be tailored to mobile devices.

If you are redeveloping your website you should consult your Google Analytics to discover how your website is being viewed and which devices those visitors are using.

Recently we discovered that a product range that was targeted towards mums was most being viewed before school pick up times and from mobile phones. This accounted for a significant ratio of overall website visitors highlighting the requirement to ensure the website was responsive to mobile devices. Responsive website design is rapidly increasing in popularity and for good reason.

The main takeaway from this article is that you really need to consider who your target market is and what you can do to enhance your website experience for them.

This article is part of our Website Design 101 series and part of our own strategy to increase our search ranking for web design Brisbane, our key search term.