Once the demographics have been determined, continue to refine the definition and outline the features of the website by considering the technology available to members of the desired target audience. Someone coming to the site in search of this gadget may be a technology buff and have access to the newest, hottest, and best electronics and technology, but do these people account for the entire audience?
Internet Connection Speed: Are the majority of audience members using a high speed connection? What about those still on dial-up? Will the features of the site enable it to work quickly and effectively for everyone?
Browser: Each browser renders code differently, and designers should strive to achieve the same look in all of them though they cannot account for every browser. Finding the most commonly used browser in the audience will help designers determine which browser to optimize for.
Plugins: Will the site require users have Adobe Flash Player, Java, or Microsoft Silverlight? Most of the internet users have Flash, and many internet users are beginning to install silverlight. How will this affect your design?
Computer: Are users on PC or Mac? Will the gadget work with computer they use to find the site or will they need system upgrades to work with it? Target the ones who have the technology to work with the product right away.
Peripherals: What sorts of other equipment do people have to use with the site and the gadget? Target people who have the necessary peripherals.
How to get this information
The best way to get this information is to speak with the client regarding what he or she may know about his target audience. If this does not provide enough information, researching competitors, conducting surveys and/or focus groups with members of a cross section of the target audience using details you already have, may provide more. The results of these surveys and focus groups will help fill in blanks in the target audience definition.
This post is part of the series: Defining the Target Audience
Learn about defining the target audience of a website. Learn about the importance of a clear target audience definition and how to arrive at the the definition before beginning design.