7 ways to know your audience better

User-centered design goes beyond traditional architectural practices, it emphasizes the needs, preferences, and behaviors of the end users. Whether it is a residential or a commercial space, design should be ruled by the experiences people expect to have in it.
However, it is not always easy to highlight and prioritize users’ needs. People who interact with or are affected by a built environment can have diverse expectations, broadly categorized based on their roles, and relationships with space.
Especially when designing a commercial space, discovering the diverse targeted audiences’ preferences could prove to be a challenging yet exciting journey. Here are 7 ways to make the most out of it:

1. Stakeholder Workshops
Engage with key stakeholders such as store managers, sales and customer service representatives, omni-channel officers, office workers or house residents through workshops. Collaborative sessions can help gather diverse perspectives and the design aligns both with user trends and business goals.

2. Competition Analysis
Study competitors through research, user reviews and analyze their successes and failures, try to identify gaps in their offerings. Understanding what users appreciate or dislike about competitors can inform your own design decisions.

3. Surveys & questionnaires
Conduct surveys and questionnaires to collect quantitative data that will help you identify trends, preferences, and demographics. Take advantage of any online communication channels your clients can use to reach out to their audience (website, newsletter etc.)
4. Social media listening
Monitor social media platforms for discussions related to the brand or industry. You will be surprised by how many views, sentiments or problems people share online. If necessary, use social media listening tools which automate this process.

5. Observational studies
Take time observing how people interact with similar spaces or environments. Notice their moods and behaviors and gather useful insights on flow patterns and areas of interest or concern.

6. User Personas
Create user personas representing different user groups and highlight their distinct requirements. Use your client’s knowledge and experience to describe current users and their vision to include the future ones.

7. Post Evaluation
After the project is completed conduct post evaluations to gather feedback from different users. Knowing what they experience in space can inform future design decisions.

During the process do not underestimate the dynamic nature of your audience. Regularly revisiting your understanding of your user base while designing with flexibility and adaptability in mind will ensure that the spaces you have created will continue to meet the evolving needs of the people who live, work, consume, and have fun in them.

FLEXUS has more than 30 years of experience in Design & Construction. Having worked on more than 14.000 touchpoints has helped us develop processes and methodologies that bring us closer to the spaces’ users.
Clients trust us because we value the importance of space design in commercial success thus, we create around the users need for satisfaction and excitement.
We challenge ourselves every day. Afterall, designing for a Humanverse that is constantly evolving is not easy but becomes simpler if you get to know your audience.

Do you have a project in mind? Let us discuss how we will effectively reach your audience