Define Your Audience
When beginning any website design or redesign project, an important first step is to identify your target audience, or users. Your website will be built for their needs, so it is important that you know who they are and what they need and want. By defining and ranking your audience segments (or user groups), and then determining their content needs, you give yourself a framework for gathering, creating and publishing content on your site.
Recommended Audience Priority
- primary = prospective students/families (can include educators and counselors)
- secondary = current students
- tertiary = all others (faculty & staff, alumni, donors, etc)
Identify Audience Need
Once you have identified your website's target audience, you need to identify audience need. This is best described by answering the following questions...
- What information do users want to get from this site?
- What tasks do the users want to do on this site?
- What is your message to users?
The answers to these questions will help you to create a blueprint for what your website should be and what it should do.
How can you get to know the prospective student better?
Learn more about them...
- Born 1996-2010
- 10-24 years old
- 26% of U.S. population
- Most diverse generation in U.S. history
- Short attention span
Parents are a Factor
When thinking about the parents and families of Gen Z students, they tend to be smaller in size, students have a closer relationship with parents and are in touch with them frequently. Students tend to see their parents as their primary role model and mentor. They value family input when making decisions, and frequently seek their thoughts and advice.
(Source: presentation from Parent & Family Services at the University of Memphis, and the books "iGen" and "Generation Z Goes to College")