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Why do I need to understand the audience? To catch the right mental model when designing the interface, to show empathy, to make the most understandable product. And often it’s not very easy to do.

There is, for example, such a tool — persons or portraits of audiences. I don’t really believe in these ways. Why? First, most often, they are collected on the basis of superficial information. Secondly, the audience is dynamic and often very diverse. Yesterday’s personas may not be the reality of today.

And if everything is so bad, then what to do? I have a couple of thoughts on this.

1. Use the data

We go to analytics and try to identify our audience there based on banal characteristics:

  • gender,
  • age,
  • place of residence,
  • income.

If the data doesn’t work, take a survey or look at the statistics of your social networks.

You may notice that based on the data alone, it is already possible to split the audience into several portraits. Now we have a very superficial idea of who these people are and into which segments they are roughly divided. Let’s take the statistical middle of each segment and try to find out more about them.

2. Communicate with users weekly

In theory it sounds very scary and difficult, in practice it is very interesting and useful. And yes, I’m talking about weekly interviews. We already have an idea of the average audience. It remains to find them and talk.

What is there to talk about so often? It turns out that there is always a lot there: to check prototypes of current tasks, to talk about life, about the future, about problems, to discuss functions from the backlog. In a couple of months, you will have a good understanding of who your audience is. What segments it has and what segments it have:

  • problems,
  • motivations,
  • context,
  • expectations.

Where can I get users? Good question. Unloading the database and sending emails with an invitation to talk. Here is already your fantasy how to position it. Perhaps this is some kind of closed club of users close to the product or just an opportunity to get a T-shirt with the company logo.

An alternative to an interview or an additional source of information can be any kind of community or commentators in stores and social networks.

3. Complete portraits in the process of communication

Perhaps you need to fix the new information somehow. Therefore, it seems logical to take the portraits from the first paragraph and supplement them in the process.


Example of portraits of the car sales ad board after years of work.

 412   2021   about   process
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