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Building A Website For Your Audience

When designing a website, the central thing to keep in mind is who will be using your site. That allows you to come at the design approach from the right perspective, emphasizing usability and appearance in ways that will work for your core audience.

I like what this site, http://www.habush.com/practice-areas/personal-injury/explosion/, is doing in terms of communicating with its target audience. The purpose of the site is to provide resources and legal help to those that have been injured in an explosion accident. Therefore, it doesn’t call for a particularly flashy or complicated aesthetic design. This site has utilized a basic, clean looking template. The organization’s name and contact information is prominently featured at the top of the page, which makes it easy for the target audience to navigate through the site. The content offers a clear, detailed description of the type of help they can offer in addition to a “Live Chat” sidebar that is always present. This site makes it very easy for the target audience to start a conversation with the organization.

This is like a slightly pared-down version of some of the better government-run website I’ve seen out there. Now, granted, there are more than a few government websites with terrible design and Byzantine navigation processes. But some do exactly what they need to do, like the website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Recognizing that people may visit the site for a range of purposes, it incorporates a toolbar at the top with links to the most important issues it covers (and the simple black and yellow color scheme is visually appealing, to boot – something that‘s depressingly rare on government websites). Below that, it also promotes some of the features that the NHTSA is trying to raise awareness about, without being too pushy on site visitors about these topics.

Both these sites seem to recognize that users are looking for information, first and foremost, and that they need to be able to access it as efficiently as possible, and they work to ensure that none of their design elements stand in the way.

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