Don’t Chase Your Tail – Design for Your Audience

June 7, 2013

Last week, the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce (SPACC) and Brandography, your Minneapolis marketing agency, presented the first post in our blog series on the Doggone Worst Website Contest’s winner. Oak Meadows, a senior living community, is getting a much-needed digital grooming.

The last post discussed setting online advertising and marketing goals as we met with Kim Prayfrock, the Director of Community Relations at Oak Meadows. In this post, we’ll focus on the website design and how it can improve your readers’ experience.

While it is tempting to pursue a unique, artistic layout, you must keep your audience in mind. Ideally, your web design will have creative elements that satisfy a visitor need or improve functionality. There are two main questions to ask when building your design:

1) What Does My Audience Want?

The primary audience for Oak Meadows is families of potential tenants. Kim’s industry experience and our own research concluded that visuals, especially pictures, were vital components this audience segment wanted.

2) Are There Any Unique Needs to Consider?

Although families are the primary audience, the seniors themselves are a close second. Many resources for potential and current tenants are available on the website, so our online marketing experts set out to make the site senior-friendly as well.

Numerous studies give ways to make web pages more readable for individuals over 65. However, not many sites utilize these fixes. For Oak Meadows, Brandography’s designers are following suggestions for high-contrast colors, black font on a white background in most places, and a button at the top right (shown below) that can increase the page’s font size.

The ultimate goal is to make the website appealing and functional to potential customers. A modern feel with strong visuals, as well as subtle factors that increase readability for seniors over 65, achieves that for Oak Meadows.

When planning your own web design, consider the needs of your major audiences. This investment is a critical and valuable way to support your online marketing and advertising efforts, and make your website a success!

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