List your major audiences

One way to list your major audiences is to ask: "How do people identify themselves with regard to my web content?" For example:

• patients, health care professionals, researchers

• parents, teachers, students

• passengers, pilots, mechanics, airport operators

Another way is to ask: "What about my site visitors will help me know what content the web site needs and how to write that content?" This may lead to listing your audiences as

• experienced travelers, occasional travelers

• local residents, tourists coming to town

• lookers, bookers

• shoppers, browsers

Notice that when I list these user groups, I'm always referring to people -to human beings. Don't get caught up in naming departments, institutions, or buildings as users of your site.

Don't say that you are writing for "Finance." "Finance" may be a department with many people who have different jobs, different knowledge, and different needs from your web site.

Don't say you are writing for "banks." The bank is a building and buildings don't use web sites. Are you writing for bank executives? branch managers? tellers? customers of the bank? Those are all different audiences and the differences may be important. They may be looking for different content on the site. They may know or not know specific vocabulary that you want to use.

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