Web 2.0 has become so democratized that anyone (like me) can set up a blog or website in a matter of minutes. But how valuable is a website without any traffic? Without visitors, web content is no more visible than entries written in a diary.
You might find yourself wondering how you can make a website stand apart from the crowd. In Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web content that Works, Janice Redish shares tips on how to effectively organize web site content.
Understanding the audience is imperative when writing web content. Even a personal blog must find ways to relate to the audience. There is more to understanding the audience than distinguishing users as male or female, young or old. Web writers must identity audience characteristics and gather specific information about their experiences and expertise in order to tailor websites accordingly. They even go as far as to create personas and scenarios for potential users. While the personas are not real people, they play an integral role as a member of a web team. Personas are given names and faces, and life-size cardboard cutouts are brought to meetings. Redish explains how web teams even go so far as to print pictures of their faces on mousepads in order to make them a visible force in the office at all times.
The end result of this extensive planning is a website that effectively utilizes every inch of available space to attract a distinct audience through the use of words, colors, images, and other design aspects.
How do you think the web writers would have described the personas of a potential audience that would visit these two sites?
Do you think personas are an effective way to imagine the potential audience for a website, or does it create too narrow of a view?