January 9, 2019

Design outcomes are used by people. Though people interact with design more than they consume or observe it, “audience” is still a helpful term to use when talking about the people we are trying to engage when we design. In order to design outcomes that meet people’s needs and align with their values, we have to define those audiences specifically. We have to get to know who they are and what makes them “tick”.

There are many ways we can learn about these audiences and begin to identify characteristics that define them. Demographics and psychographics two categories that cover a lot of ground when defining audiences.

While demographics and psychographics are fantastic categories that point the way toward defining audiences, they feel kinda cold. A lot of times in design, just asking people “How can I help you?” can reveal what we should design and why people do not use existing design outcomes.


Associate Professor

Miami University