It’s All About You: The importance of the Audience in Online Media
“Writing successful web content doesn’t start with typing words. It starts with finding out about your audience and your needs.”- Redish
In the article, “ Letting go of Words: Writing Web Content that Works“, Redish discusses how one can be effective in capturing the audience’s attention and making sure the website is functioning effectively. I always thought that a website was centered around it’s personal information and brand. In reality, I have realized that it is more important to engage the reader on their level and their needs.
Redish outlines 7 Steps to Understanding Your Audience:
- List your major audiences ( user groups)
- Gather information about your audiences. : interact , watch, talk, interview
- List major characteristics for each audience : values, emotions, demographics, social and cultural environments, technology
- Gather your audiences’ questions, tasks and stories
- Use your information to create personas
- Include the persona’s goals and tasks
- Write scenarios for your site
One major part about these steps is finding out the desires of your users. I decided that I needed to look up some survey websites to use to find out detailed information about what my audience wanted. Another important area of the website is the Homepage. The place where all the users can go to find their information. Homepages are the “first impression” that the audience has. I know people say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”, but I think you have to judge a website by its homepage.
Here are the five major functions of home pages:
1. Identifying the site and establishing the brand
2. Setting the Tone and Personality
3.Helping People Get a Sense of What the Site is About
4. Letting People start key tasks immediately
5. Sending each person on the right way effectively and efficiently
These are some tools to let you decipher the best way to approach your audience and your homepage!