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Web Design: Know Your Audience
When you're designing your website, you should think carefully about who you expect to be visiting.
In some cases, there are obvious ways in which you can cater for your audience. For example, The Glaucoma Foundation, aware that visitors may suffer from visual impairment, allows users to choose the text size and contrast style of their website by clicking buttons at the top of each page. Generally speaking, it's a good idea to make sure that your website complies with web standards, as this will ensure that you are not excluding any groups from using your website comfortably.
If you trade internationally, you may also want to consider offering your website in several different languages. If you trade in the US and the UK, you will charm visitors on both sides of the Atlantic by having country-specific sites that use American and British English respectively.
Think about what visitors to your website are most likely to want to do. If you have a shopping site, and especially if there are lots of options for customers when they are placing an order, it is a good idea to let them see their shopping basket's running total as they navigate about your site, and easily refresh to see updated information.
With your audience in mind, choose features, applications or resources which are likely to make your site more attractive than those of your competitors. Consider adding a search box, links page, and printable versions of your pages where appropriate. Allowing your visitors to save pages or items for later, or email pages they like to friends, can be appropriate for some sites.
By Brian Jackson