During the Audience Analysis phase, you need to create User Profiles to help you get better results for the market research. What this means is that before you start in-depth marketing activities, you identify the user groups you plan to target before you start any coding, writing, or promotional work.
User Profiles, Market Research & Human Needs
The better you understand your target audience, the more chances you have of tailoring relevant content to their specific needs. While this slows you down initially, it helps your structure your site so that the content you develop aligns with your readers’ interests.
Use these steps to develop User Profiles:
- Sector – Identify the target sector or vertical markets you are developing your site for. Once you have this in place, you can start to develop content that aligns with their needs.
- Expertise – Identify the level of subject expertise within that group. In other words, if they are beginners, then create content that explains that basics. If they are more advanced, provide in-depth tutorials that show how the site works with more power tips.
- Preferences – Identify information preferences, such as their preferred order for accessing information. For instance, they want to access this information first, then second, then third, etc
- Environment – Identify users’ environments. This includes applications settings, screen resolution, screen color, hardware, operating systems and other peripherals.
- Expertise – Identify technical expertise, for example, their ability to install plug-ins, download patches or run anti-virus software.
- Demographics – Define your audience’s characteristics, such as their occupation, location, sex, age and level of education.
- Scenarios – Describe usage scenarios, for example where and why the audience will use the site, locations where is will be used and the devices they will use.
- Characteristics – Describe physical abilities, such as vision, hearing, and mobility which may influence how you design the site layout and appearance.
Once you have collected this information, which in many ways is similar to gathering business requirements, feed it into your Audience Analysis worksheet. This will allow you to conduct more effective market research campaigns as your target user group has already been more refined, thus improving the quality of the research data.