Of course, one can’t just use color alone to build a successful design. Something I always ask my clients about is who they think their targeted market is. Based on this information, the design can be planned accordingly to appeal to both client and user and provide an efficient user experience for the consumer. This information is also helpful in appealing to the user’s tastes and getting them interested in the product(s) or service(s) my client will provide.
When designing a website, graphic, or interface, the personal preferences of my client or clients are always important. Chances are, their business plan reflects their personality, preferences and passion in some way and it’s likely that the targeted consumer will share some of the same attributes.
What are your tastes? Does your business model reflect your tastes? If so, it’s probably something that you are passionate about, and you probably became passionate about it through a personal experience. This is something you and your market will have in common?
If so, a design can start to take shape from merely having a color palette to beginning to form a brand; a style, mood and tone that appeals to both the client and the consumer.
Recently, I attended a Girl Geek Dinner in center city Philadelphia and listened to a presentation from Happy Cog‘s Jessica Ivins about user experience design with the the target market in mind. Although the presentation set its focus on women as a very large part of the market, it was very informative creating on good design for everyone, not just exclusively men or exclusively women.
Beyond this, during the presentation I learned and was reminded to carefully study and ask my clients to think about who they’re marketing to so we can understand the design preferences of that group or demographic. For example, will this market prefer a clean, simple site design with neutral colors or a brightly colored site with more features and functions?
An example of design preference – different fonts appeal to different people.
An excellent way to figure out design preferences based on demographic are user studies. User studies are basically fictitious users that are given personalities, stats, [product or service] concerns, and other attributes based on the client’s business model and target market.
This is extremely effective in helping both designer and client personify their user or consumer before their site is launched or even designed. Personification of a group of individual users helps us get more specific about and anticipate their design preferences.
Example of user studies using a fictitious persona. (Image Source)
A Brand for the User
Now that we know who are users are, it becomes much easier to design for them. This was we are able to make a brand that consumers will learn to recognize, an interface that’s effective at serving its purpose and a business that puts the customer first; ultimately what we want.
Of course, there is much more research to be done in order to create the best user experience possible, but doing some research will get your design plans on track in communicating your brand effectively to your consumers because now, both client and designer have layout, textures, fonts, styles and design preferences in mind.
Once you’ve established your plans, a good rule of thumb is to write them down. This make things easier for you and your designer.
Read my post on how to get the MOST from your designer here.