The ICT Lounge
 
Section 9.1:
Audience Appreciation
 
When you develop ICT products that will be used by people, you have to have a clear sense of your audience so that your products will be suitable for them.

If products are not designed specifically for a particular audience, it is possible that their usefulness will be limited.

 

Learning objectives of this section:
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Know what is meant by audience.
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Understand that ICT solutions have to be designed closely for an audience.
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Be able to analyse the needs of an audience.

Audience (or Target Audience)
Key Words:
Audience, Purpose, Needs, Products.
Definition:
"An audience is who the product is aimed at or who is going to use the product."

To gain an understanding as to how an audience can influence the design of an ICT product, complete the activity to the right. Use the information on the links below to help you.
Activity!

Click on the link above to access the task for this section.

Knowing your audience
General Information:
Examples:
Some ICT products are created for a young
audience.
Some ICT products are aimed at an adult
audience.
Some ICT products are aimed at a wealthy
audience.
Some ICT products are aimed at females.
Some ICT products are aimed at males.
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When designing an ICT product such as websites, PowerPoints and databases etc. you should consider who is going to use it. There are a range of audience characteristics that should be taken into account:
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income level
  • Interests.
These things should be considered before the product is created.

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By knowing who will use the product, you can ensure that it will be possible for them to use it and that it will interest them.

Characteristics of an audience:
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A target audience can be identified by their characteristics.

The table below discusses how a selection of websites have been designed with particular audiences in mind (click each image to visit the site):
Age
This can affect whether or not someone will be interested in your product.

For example: the website to the right is designed for children aged 6 and under.

The large font styles, child-like content and colourful pages would attract this audience.

Gender
Products should be designed towards a gender in order to ensure that they attract the right type of person.

For example: the website to the right is designed for younger girls.

The pink colour, toy dolls and beauty content would attract this audience.

Income
ICT products can be aimed at people with different income levels .

For example: the website to the right has been created to promote and sell expensive houses.

The houses on display and clear prices would put off people with lower income.

Interests
Knowing your customer's interests can help you decide on content .

For example: the website to the right is filled with precise content that will attract fans of Classic Rock.

The news articles, songs, videos and images would keep the target audience coming back to the site.

Disabilities
Knowing if your audience include people with disabilities can help you to design the best possible product.

For example: the website to the right has used very contrasting colour's between backgrounds fonts. It also uses large fonts and kept the content simple.

This will help visually impaired users to access the content.
The needs of an audience
General Information:
Examples:
Bright and colourful designs with simple wording will attract children.
Well designed, attractive products with interesting and useful content will attract teens and adults.
Senior audiences require ICT products that are simple, easy to use and large fonts.
NOTE!
Designing an ICT product to the correct target audience is extremely important.

If your website, PowerPoint, database etc. cannot be used by the audience it will fail.

For example: if your website is too complex for a child to understand, they won't bother.
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Different audiences have different needs and the developers of an ICT product have to make sure that they meet as many of those needs as possible.

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The more needs that the ICT product caters for, the more likely that the intended audience will be to use it.

Some needs:
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The table below breaks some of the needs of a variety of audiences:

Audience type
Their needs
Example (click to visit)

Young
children -
  • Bright and cheerful colours
  • Animations and sounds
  • Lots of pictures
  • Less text
  • Simple wording
  • Large text fonts
  • Games/activities for content
  • Easy to use (click buttons rather than type)

Click here to visit a website with more information about these needs.



Teens /
Adults -
  • Attractive colours (not bright)
  • Interesting content (school work, hobbies, social media)
  • Balance of pictures and text
  • Uncluttered (use white space)
  • Don't use childish language
  • Clear fonts
  • Use bullet points (easier to absorb information)

Click here to visit a website with more information about these needs.



Seniors -
  • Contrasting colours (easier to read)
  • Include clear instructions
  • Use larger font sizes than normal
  • Minimise the use of technical terms
  • Consistent design (navigation buttons in the same place etc.)
  • Easy to use (click buttons rather than type)

Click here to visit a website with more information about these needs.

Why solutions must meet the needs of the audience
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If you don't produce ICT solutions that are built for a specific audience you could run into a variety of problems:

Examples:
If your audience are likely to have eyesight problems, small text on your product is a bad idea.
Content should be interesting and useful to the target audience (not about traffic cones?).
Complex products are unlikely to be suitable for young children.
Can't read fonts
If your audience are older, they could have eyesight problems. Standard sized fonts and poor consideration for colour schemes could make text difficult for them to read.

Can't understand wording
If your audience is very young children and you use complex wording, there is a good chance that they won't understand. This will make the product useless to them.

Not interesting enough to use

If the content of your ICT product is not interesting enough for your target audience they won't use it.

For example: talking about Spongebob square pants on a website that is supposed to be for adults is unlikely to hold their interest.

No attraction
Attracting the correct people to use an ICT product is often accomplished with colour schemes.

For example: attracting children to read a PowerPoint would require bright, cheerful colour's. This would draw them to look at the slides.

Teens and adults are more drawn to well designed, professional looking products that use complimentary colour schemes.

Can't use the product
If you make a complex product that requires a lot of typing or uses lots of buttons, this would be too difficult for a child to use.

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By knowing who the product is aimed at before you start to build it, you can ensure that steps are taken so that the product is suitable.

There is a better chance that the product will be used and will be successful.

Activity!

Click the above task and complete the tasks about audience appreciation.


Please add your questions/comments below:
 

Links to Theory Units:
 
Links to Practical Units:
Section 11: File Management
Section 12: Images
Section 13: layout
Section 14: Styles
Section 15: Proofing
Section 16: Graphs and Charts
Section 17: Document Production
Section 18: Data Manipulation
Section 19: Presentations
Section 20: Data Analysis
Section 21: Website Authoring