Analyzing Your Audience

Writing for the Web is like most kinds of writing; content should be produced based on who is in audience and what they need, using the guidelines below. Combine that knowledge with what research tells us about how people read webpages.

Once you've done that, you'll be ready to write, organize and format the content for your site.

Typical questions to help you start:

  • Who is your audience? What is their role in the college community?
  • Why are they coming to your site?
  • What do they need from you?   
  • What tasks are they typically performing that relate to your site's content and functionality?

Other ways to learn about what your audience needs:

  • What questions do you and your colleagues answer the most?
  • What are common causes of confusion for people?
  • Ask the staff of the help desk or Student Information Center about questions they get that might be related to your site.
  • If it's practical, talk with people who are part of your audience about what they need. 

Have more than one audience for your site? 

Don't worry -- many sites serve more than one group. Consider the Online Library; it serves students, faculty and other members of the college community.

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