The web design rule—design it for your target audience

When you’re designing a website it can be easy to forget who you’re actually creating it for. Opinions can get thrown in from every angle with personal preference often getting involved, but here’s the thing—you’re not designing it for anyone other than your target audience. That means your MD’s favourite colour becomes irrelevant as does their love of photography, so it’s time to take personal taste out of the equation and focus on pleasing your audience.

It’s all about realising who your target audience is and what you want them to do before designing your site around those goals. There are plenty of design elements that can go into achieving that too—colour, for example, can be used to set the tone or to attract attention, whilst when it comes to layout it’s important to consider what works best rather than what looks best. Usability is key and you need to give your audience visual cues to ensure they can get where they want to go, and ideally you’ll want key information in the F pattern—studies have shown that users scan the page in this way so placing the most important calls to action in the horizontal lines of the F can make all the difference.

Images can be used to great effect as well, again being a way to draw the eye to something or to support a theme, but don’t use an image just for the sake of it. There should always be a purpose to it otherwise it’ll be distracting (the same applies to videos), so make sure any image supports your main goals if you want the best results. This is the rule for all areas of web design, in fact—if it doesn’t support your goals you’re not doing it right, so make sure you’re designing it to attract, engage and ultimately convert those visitors.
Designing a site for conversions is much easier than designing it to suit personal taste, so always have your target audience clearly in mind and you could soon get the results you’re looking for.

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