Designing for varied audiences: Reaching your audience with the right design language
Isn't it amazing how the internet accommodates so much information for a diversity of people of varying age ranges? People can log on to a website or go to a store and browse for a content piece or a product that connects with them while factoring their needs and meeting their requirements.
It is imperative that brands create products and solutions to cater to a varied audience so as to sell in multiple markets and expand their target audience in lieu of inclusivity. In other words, you want to make sure your brand “vibes” with a larger audience the right way. Each generation comes with its own unique set of values, capabilities and patterns of cognition that shape how it sees the world and interacts with brands. Which is why when it comes to your brand’s visual identity, the primary objective is to define a target audience and centre your communication around them for higher reach and meaningful engagement from your viewers.
When it comes to designing for different audience groups, keep in mind the varying goals and motivations that push you towards taking a particular communication route. This is to say that what might appeal to one group, won't necessarily appeal to another. Be mindful of the user who you see actually using or interacting with the communication and where they stand. Ask yourself this - Are they young enough that they can easily navigate their way through apps and websites on devices while keeping up with the rest of the world or are they playing catch up with the rest of the digital natives?
Just to recap:
Remember to keep their cultural and emotional response to the values you showcase
Keep in mind their behaviours, goals and objectives when using your product or interacting with your communication
Their comfort level when navigating through digital media
Designing for Children:
Children today are much more digitally social than we ever were, growing up. They know their way around smart devices and grow up with Alexa and Siri at their service. They know how to navigate their way through apps and websites just as well. Communication for children typically serves to entertain while educating. For younger children the use of vibrant colours, easily recognisable shapes, associative sounds and animation work positively. Using simple clean fonts in appropriately sized texts that are simple to comprehend and navigation that’s easy to follow definitely helps make your user’s experience engaging and long lasting.
(Courtesy: National Geographic Kids (https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/)
For older children, this might seem a little childish. They will tend to engage more with a website if it incorporates the use of a slightly more refined colour palette along with content that’s easily accessible and content that’s easy to understand with short sentences sans jargon. Animations and imagery should ideally be a little more age appropriate. The aim here is to make this slightly older age group feel like they're not being treated like 4 year olds but trust them with smarter and more mature than the younger age group.
Designing for tweens and teenagers:
The ever evolving category that grows in tandem with the digital times, teenagers are socially and digitally connected and have grown up with the internet as a part of their lives. They’ve grown up turning to google for help with their homework and class projects. Using interesting graphic content with less text and more gamified content will help create the interactive and immersive experiences they're constantly on the lookout for.
I’d say here it's necessary to control the over usage of bright popping colour. This age group is typically looking to find the information they're looking for as fast as possible, without the distraction. Clean design and direct messaging with a clear course of action or a CTA ensures higher customer satisfaction for this audience.
(Courtesy: TED Ed -https://ed.ted.com/lessonsdirection=desc&sort=featured-position)
Designing for Adults: Highly goal oriented in their approach on the internet, adults are typically very straightforward in their internet behaviour. They aren't fazed by vivid animations and graphics, in fact chances are the fancier or more graphic the communication, the less likely they are to engage with it. All they’re looking for is a clear communication route that shows them an easily clickable CTA to help get to the bottom of their search. They are willing to take the time to research for accurate sources of information (preferably through the process of filters and elimination. This audience group is the most receptive to a longer format of content which is meaningful, insightful and helps them in their journey. They don't mind the use of visuals as long as it amplifies the content to help illustrate a point better, like infographics. Boy, do they love that stuff!