Website Design & Development

Jessica Bryant Posted by Jessica Bryant on April 21, 2015

User Scenarios - Web Design by Target Audience

User Scenarios - Web Design by Target Audience

User Scenarios - Web Design by Target Audience

Design web pages to audience preference can increase engagement.

A user scenario is a mental picture of how an imaginary user will interact with a given user interface. Creating a strong user scenario that considers user personality types and goals can help create web pages that are easy to use and more engaging. They allow you to consider how users will interact with a design before you set it into motion. 

Although you must use your imagination to develop a user persona, you should base your ideas in facts about your user base. What are their goals, motivations, character traits and behaviors? Answering these questions puts a

human face on a potential user, letting you address how web design can affect their experience when using your site. 

Developing User Scenario Personas

Consider several factors when developing user scenarios to understand how you might change your web design to suit them:

  • Environment — Will users access your site from work, home, a library, a phone or tablet? How much time do they have to accomplish the task they come to you for?

  • Mental State — Will users come to you looking for clarification, reassurance, information or amusement? Will they be worried, hurried, relaxed or happy?

  • Motivations — What motivates users to interact with your site? What events would trigger them to navigate there?

Putting Together a User Scenario

Once you understand these essential characteristics, you need to see them in relation to the planned features, content and functions of your website. So list out everything your website can do and then begin considering how your target audience will interact. Choose five features, content or functions that will matter most to the user. These will be your priorities and design anchors. While other features may be useful, these are the ones that will offer the most benefit to your audience. 

Some example personas to start with might include earlier adopter, returning customer or curious browser. But you should also consider your target audience demographics. If your website caters to retirees, it needs to be easy to read and aimed at those who may just be learning how to interact with the web. Some of these users will only be familiar with email in Outlook or Yahoo. Adding too much “flare” to such a web site could leave users feeling confused and uncomfortable. For this audience, designs should be simple, with large text and easy to find “hints” to guide them through the process. 

If you’re looking at a younger audience, you have many more design options and narrowing down your choices can be more difficult. These users are familiar with many different web functions, so you’ll want to zero in on those that are most common, most enjoyable and most efficient. Short attention spans mean you need to grab interest quickly and allow users to accomplish tasks in as few steps as possible. 

User scenarios are just a starting point for your design, but getting them right sets all other aspects in the right direction. Start with some basic designs and test them on target users to see how they interact and then move forward with fully fleshing out the design that responds best. 

Ask efelle creative for help in your next web design project

The design experts at efelle creative can help you with all aspects of web design and content. Call us at 206.384.4909 or use our online contact form to arrange for a free web design consultation.