12 Ways to Incorporate Your Target Audience Into Your Web Design

Question: How do you incorporate your audience demographics into your web or app design? For example, are there specific ways you try and cater to, say, women vs. men?

Seek Out Design Aesthetics

"Allow the design of your web or app design to follow the design aesthetics of your target market, by using brand archetypes. Look at what other brands your audience uses and get a feel for what design aesthetics they respond to. Don't copy, but use these designs as inspiration for your own designs. Think fonts, colors, spacing."

Content Will Always Be King

"No matter what app or site I'm working with at any given time, making sure that the content we publish lines up precisely with the audience's demographics is crucial. Content creates context, showing the audience why they need to be using a particular tool that otherwise might not make sense to them."

- Thursday Bram | Content Consultant, Hyper Modern Consulting

Measure Your Audience With Quantcast

"You can also look at Quantcast and see the demographics of your competitors which will be yours. In terms of actual design to target and design around them, you want to make sure images (and written content) you use on your website speak to those demographics."

Introduce Your Team Members

"Prior to rebranding my hair salon, the previous owner catered to ethnic hair. Since our team and clientele is diverse, we decided to post fun photos of ourselves. Our theme is country-focused, so we scheduled a photoshoot wearing jeans and plaid shirts to show a diverse "Sweet T" look. The clients feel comfortable choosing which stylist they want based on their photo and bio on our website."

- Nancy T. Nguyen | President & CEO, YMH, Inc.
Consider the Visitor's Urgency

"A design factor that's often overlooked is addressing the urgency associated with the problem your visitors are trying to solve. Let's say they have a leaky faucet and it is flooding their bathroom. They want answers fast and don't care about design. Solve high urgency problems (even getting through your shopping cart without hassle) in as few steps as possible."

Broadcast Headlines Over Brochures

"Our product caters to all demographics, but we try to keep it simple when it comes to web design. Simple or bold headlines, along with a call to action and limited followup text, work well. People don’t take the time to read, so you have to make an impact with your headline versus a brochure. Drive them to learn more by sending them to your sales team, who can then close the deal."

Where Are They Coming From?

"As we designed the interface for You Need My Guy, a big consideration was the sites that our users would be coming from. Because of this, we created a sign-in process that allowed them to authenticate via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Also, since Pinterest is so hot with women, we made sure to include the option to pin the best service providers to their board."

- Joe Cassara | Founder / CEO, You Need My Guy
Don't Limit Your Own Audience

"Despite my website being pink, over half of my clients ended up being men! This lead to a website redesign with a bright blue spot of color. I also had my designer integrate in lots of white space and curved lines to create a sense of peace and calm, because my clients want to achieve more with less stress."

- Elizabeth Saunders | Founder & CEO, Real Life E®

There's No Substitute for Data

"Rather than trying to guess what our audience wants, we regularly test different messaging and images on our site and see which ones convert the best. Many of the results seem counterintuitive at first, but make sense once we dig beneath the surface. There’s no substitute for data."

- Bhavin Parikh | CEO and Co-founder , Magoosh Inc
Color, Copy and Consistency

"Target demographic information is one of the most important factors of the design process. To make our experience enjoyable for cool and quirky fans, our design features primarily gender-neutral colors that have a real kick, copy that is lively and inviting rather than dull and pompous. The majority of the site is aesthetically similar to what our target demographics are used to using."

- Aaron Schwartz | Founder and CEO, Modify Watches

Infuse Their Media Interests

"Our clients eat pop culture for breakfast, so it's crucial for our company to deliver magazine quality content and create a visual brand experience that's inspired by entertainment media. I suggest researching other brands your customer's patronize and what type of media they enjoy reading/watching/listening to and infuse these elements into your web/app design."

Try Speaking Their Language

"While all of our customers want to improve their search results, they want to do it for different reasons. Some want to get a job; some want to drive business to their real estate agencies. The product is the same, but the motivation of the users is different, and by speaking their language, we’re more likely to get them to sign up. "

- Patrick Ambron | Co-founder & CEO, BrandYourself.com

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

About YEC

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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