Adapting website design to the target audience is crucial for the success of a website. Websites that do not consider user needs tend to fail, regardless of the visual appeal or the technologies used. A good website is not only defined by its aesthetics or technologies but also by its usability and content.
Organizations may acquire new services and tasks over time. Therefore, a successful website should be designed with the potential for future expansion in mind.
- Visual components, typography, and menu design should be prepared to suit user characteristics.
- The content presented to users should be relevant to the website's purpose.
- Content should be tailored to the target audience and their tasks.
- Content should not be overshadowed by visual design components.
- Use a scalable technical and navigation structure to accommodate expansion.
- ISO 9241-151 / 7.1.3 – Appropriateness of content for the target group and tasks
Before developing a website, a detailed analysis of user characteristics is necessary to understand user needs and expectations accurately. Therefore, user personas representing the website's target audience should be created. Instead of creating a few personas that represent everyone, personas should be created that provide examples from different target audiences.
Personas represent typical user characters that are expected to use the website. They help in understanding the target audience and making decisions about user characters. Creating a persona that closely matches the target audience will increase the website's ability to meet user needs and expectations. Separating user groups by creating personas that represent different groups is important for improving the quality of service provided to these groups.
- Personas should be created with real users in mind, who are the target audience of the website.
- Consider the actions users can perform on the website when creating personas.
- Include information such as age, gender, marital status, profession, income, environment, personal characteristics, education, social class, technology usage, hobbies, and interests in the personas.
- Scenarios of use for personas can be briefly described in written form and shared with the site design/development team.
- In larger projects, preliminary interviews, prototype tests, and similar activities can be conducted with real users to interact with the profiles.
- ISO 9241-210 / Human-centred design for interactive systems
- ISO 9241-151 / 6.3 – Analysing the target user groups
Users use public websites for specific purposes and they want to accomplish those purposes. In addition, users have general public expectations and expectations for software/hardware trends (such as mobile applications). Users are the main stakeholders in website design. Therefore, it is essential to consider users from the design and planning stages of the website.
Analytical studies with users selected from the target audience will help refine the website design. Accurately identifying user needs during the design and development phase is essential for preventing potential usability problems. Problems that may arise in later stages can be resolved early through communication and testing with users, avoiding significant expenses and effort. Corporate development and technological innovation units often lead to target shifts, and details can overshadow the main goals.
- Before starting to develop a website, a needs analysis should be made; the needs and expectations of the target audience should be determined in detail.
- Feedback should be obtained from the users about the design of the site through the prototype screens developed.
- Necessary updates should be made by interacting with the users after the website is started to be used.
- Test documents and recorded videos used to observe user experiences should be stored in an environment accessible to developers.
- ISO-9241-210 Human-Centred Design Standard
- ISO-9241-151 / 6.2 – Determining the purpose of a Web application
- ISO-9241-151 / 6.4 – Analysing the users’ goals and tasks
- ISO-9241-151 / 6.5 – Matching application purpose and user goals