You need to know who you’re designing for before you start throwing together new screens! For us, identifying exactly who we’re building a product for is the first crucial step in our project flow. Without an accurate audience, we’ll have no good data to base our decisions off of!

Everyone has their own way of gathering feedback for projects. Sometimes it’s as simple as drawing up a list of customers, while other times you need to reach a highly specific group that you don’t have immediate access to. Either way, we need to start with a strong understanding of who exactly we’re gathering feedback from.

Here’s our most valuable tips for defining an awesome target audience:

  • Visualize who the participants are in your audience. Gone are the days when targeting demographics was a revolutionary form of getting relevant feedback. By evaluating the behavior of a specific person who would fit into your ideal audience, you can hone in on certain traits and behaviors that make that person interesting. It all starts with the attributes of this one person! Start with your best hunches of what attributes make up your audience participant and you’ll be well on your way.

  • Survey for what you don’t know. When you don’t know how your audience will behave and what attributes to focus on, it’s time to jump into data and actual customer feedback. Survey a broad audience of people who might be your end users to determine who is exhibiting the behaviors that will actually lead them to your product. Helio is a great tool to get feedback from thousands of people from a broad, international audience to start painting a picture of who you need to reach out to or target.

  • Get stakeholder alignment. The last thing you want is your team poking holes in your data because they don’t feel your audience represents your actual customers. Getting alignment first is crucial! As we discussed in our last broadcast, you can give your stakeholders homework to develop their hunches around who they think we need feedback from, and then work together to decide whether you can reach those people.

Once you’ve gotten full alignment with the team at the beginning of a project, you can start exploring the landscape in front of you! Opening up the problem space works great for us to take a look at all the different opportunities we can explore in a project. Join the conversation by letting us know how you determine the work that you’ll need to when you kick off a project!

Go win your day,

Morgan & The Helio Team

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