Usability Considerations: Users Background

Aside from the age and location of your users the user’s job as well as computer skills will affect your website design.

  • Job - If you have a very specific target audience such as college students, doctors and nurses, web designers, artists, etc. you can design your website to fit the needs and also the expected skill of the users. For a target audience with more artistic backgrounds you of course need to focus a lot on graphic design, however, you should not neglect the other aspects of usability. Those in the medical field will likely be looking for current medical news as well as in depth information to medical conditions and treatments. Make sure that the structure of your website is really easy to navigate whether you are using simple multiple pages or a database. The job profile dictates the first consideration, which is the needs and wants of a user, and in many cases, the next one as well - computer skills.
  • Computer/Internet Skills - The computer/internet literacy of your users should be taken into consideration. If you have a broad spectrum of users the safest thing to do is simply assume that you have many users that only have basic working knowledge of computers and the internet. This way, whatever the skill level of your users everyone will be able to use your website with ease. However, if you have a very specific set of users like web designers then you can design your website accordingly. Note though that with web designers as a target audience you need to be more careful about usability and all the other aspects of web design since they are more apt to notice bad web design practices than the usual users!

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