Audience Frame of Mind

“The needs and tastes of the audience should lie at the root of any design solution. Begin there and grow outward.”

–  Jim Krause

TL;DR  The next time you’re working on a design/marketing project and feel like it’s not working out or looking quite right (but you’re not sure why), try approaching the project from an AUDIENCE frame of mind


Imagine this:

You’re producing a wine event and hire an intern to manage and create graphics for the event’s Instagram account. Your ideal attendees are middle-aged, upper-middle-class women that love food and wine, and live on the wealthy side of town. Your intern is super clever and knows how to use all of the latest apps and social media tactics. A few weeks pass and you look at the Instagram feed to see how things are going.

Uh-oh. What’s going on? It’s looks “good” but not right.

The feed looks like your football-loving, latest-meme-posting, 20-year-old college student intern’s account (with the word wine sprinkled here and there) not your event’s account or your event’s audience. 

It’s probably because you forgot to tell him about your audience.

To think from their point of view – where they’re coming from and what’s important to them.

Maybe you forgot to mention it because this is something that seems SO OBVIOUS TO YOU that you never really thought about discussing it with your intern. (Remember, what is obvious to you might not be obvious to your designer.)

Or maybe it’s because the “audience first” concept is something you’ve never really considered when working on a design project. 

For some of us, we easily relate to our audience and it takes very little effort for us to know or learn the media, lingo, style, colors, fashions, and trends they are into. But for others, it might be a little tricky and take a little more thought and research. 

Everyone on your team needs to understand who the project is speaking to, who you are trying to connect with, and what value you are providing to your audience.

This will help clarify the design of the project and create a more impactful and meaningful message.