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Strategy and Transformation

Audience Analysis: Don’t Forget Your Customers

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Product design that doesn’t consider the diverse needs of your customer base are less likely to succeed. To design a great product, you need to know who you’re designing for. Audience analysis helps you better understand what motivates your customers so you can create a product that’s not merely functional, but delightful.
It’s a misconception that analytics and market research provide sufficient insight to guide design. While analytics and market research identify demographic and behavioral attributes, those activities are only a starting point. A thorough audience analysis involves further UX research where you explore reasons why your customers behave as they do. Your analysis shouldn’t be considered complete until you have talked with your customers.
Hearing from your customers directly will help you learn how they use, or plan to use, your product. Going beyond demographics to understand the differences in usage patterns by age, gender and education level, for example, will help you design a solution that meets specific needs as well as create relevant and useful content.
Audience analysis can help you:

  • Gather information on what motivates – and frustrates – your customers. What are they thinking when they use the product? How does using the product make them feel? What suggestions do they have for improvement? Hearing from them directly will help you understand why they think and feel as they do.
  • Create a navigation structure and task flow that matches the customer’s mental model. How do they use or plan to use the product? What information is critical for them and at what point? How do they search for information, and more important, why? Knowing why your customers group concepts and search for information supports more intelligent design.
  • Make sure content and terminology are relevant to the customer. How do they refer to a product or concept? What would they like to see and where? What value do they place on content and why? Knowing customer preferences will help prioritize content and create a vocabulary they can easily comprehend.

Keeping these things in mind will help you create a better user experience for your customer.

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Valencia Bey

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