All the gurus tell you great website design starts with an intimate knowledge of your audience. They insinuate visitor centricity.

Then they give you lists.

  1. Right people
  2. Fantastic branding
  3. THE seductive freebies
  4. Imaginative content
  5. Engage, engage, engage


  1. Age
  2. Sex
  3. Location
  4. Profession
  5. And all that other demographic stuff

Worn out treads don’t make for good traction in great website design.

While the gurus’ lists are important, maybe you’re focusing on the wrong information.

Clients know THEIR goals for a website. They want to educate, inform, outreach, engage, sway opinion-makers, and ultimately make a sale.

That isn’t visitor centricity.

Clients most likely have all the information they need to put their audience center stage in their web design. The problem is that many are not using the information. They are looking to the lists first.

Where is all the information gained from stalking the comments in industry, support, and competitors’ forums, from online and offline surveys, from social media, or word trends going?

Many clients don’t understand that this information should be used to answer their design questions. They usually focus on what is going wrong in face-to-face service or online customer support interactions.

Answer 4 questions for great website design with visitor centricity.

In reality, there are only 4 basic questions to starting a website design that will keep visitors clicking. The questions are based on close study of audience habits gleaned from social media, surveys, and forums.

  1. Is your audience first time browsers or current customers?
  2. What is your visitor trying to find?
  3. How did the visitor find your site?

And finally,

  1. How are your goals different and similar to those of your visitors?

The truth is one website can’t be everything to everyone who drops by. When sites do this, the audience ends up very confused.

The last thing a website should do is baffle a visitor.

Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, create a single visitor profile based on what 70% or more of the audience wants based on the research. Then compare the single visitor profile to your goals for the website.

There are bound to be variations. Can your goals for the website be modified to satisfy the visitor’s goals?

Once commonalities are found and chosen, SEM clients must clearly communicate all the audience idiosyncrasies to the web designer. Website visitor centricity automatically leads to great website design that satisfies the client and their audience.