Know Your Audience Planning the Foundations Image: Pete Linforth Understanding your target audience and why they should want to visit your site or use your app is essentially the most important element in considering an appropriate design. Understanding some of the basic principles underlying the psychology of your intended audience, such as why they are visiting your page, what problem do they intend to solve by using your app, or how they will integrate your services into their lifestyle and workflow are key to the success of your project. In a nutshell, your solution should be usable. The goal of usability is to having an application that is effectively “transparent”, allowing the user to accomplish the intended task without really noticing the interface in-between. The body of knowledge built on top of this area study encompasses an array of disciplines that include art and design, basic engineering principles, and behavioral and cognitive psychology. Fortunately, you do not need an extensive background in any of these disciplines to make useful decisions. One important consideration for thinking about usability design is the resource of User Research. While not everyone looking to build a basic web site may have the funding to contract formal user research, there are a variety of sources of established insights compiled on the subject. Coglode provides one such resource of easily digested, pre-compiled insights. All of these insights are as effective for developing a content strategy as they are for executing good design principles. Finding ways of providing a productive user experience while not frustrating, belittling, or otherwise facilitating a negative response from the user while guiding them to favorable action is the primary focus here. Nearly everyone wants a slick design, easy to use interface, including a modern layout (the exception of course sometimes being boutique or niche sites that do not want these traits for overriding reasons). The question is: how do you want to facilitate the users journey? While this is largely the shared job of both your designer and content strategist; however, it will greatly help to expedite the development process if you have a few ideas on the subject going in.