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Youth Have A Say in Website Development

What makes a website really connect with its target audience? How often are websites designed with the user in mind?

It goes without saying that truly knowing your audience is the bedrock of tailoring your best communications. Yet, you’d be surprised how often organisations assume they know their target audience when planning a digital strategy.

When dealing with challenging or confronting issues that could result in someone’s life being in jeopardy – it’s crucial to plan well.

In April, Media on Mars ran one of a series of workshops with students from South Fremantle High School. The workshops form an important part of the digital strategy that the Department of Child Protection is developing to stop domestic violence against young people. The campaign is called Youth Say No.

The goal was to test our assumptions about what young people feel is important when accessing the Youth Say No website and what they considered to be the best way to engage with the content and resources of the site and indeed the whole campaign. Let’s face it – there’s no point designing in the dark; designing for what we think young people will like when we do not belong to that target audience.

The South Freo students were really insightful on the issue and it was a great example of why stakeholder and community consultation should be at the centre of digital projects.

The results were often surprising and threw up unexpected responses, in terms of what young people feel is important. A perfect example of what we did not expect – was their request to make the government logo bigger and more prominent as it made them feel safe – because it implies the website is a protected, authentic environment. The students also provided great blog into the imagery by suggesting that we removed any images that looked fake or where the people in the photos were too perfect.

The workshops also provided a great opportunity for the students to work with industry professionals to see how real digital projects are run. Many of the students were studying media so although they were already familiar with the creative process involved in making websites, the workshop added valuable experience.

The next workshop for this project will involve asking the students for their input on how to promote the website.

The next workshop for this project will involve asking the students for their input on how to promote the website.

Thanks again to David and the staff at South Fremantle Senior High School.

Don’t leap into designing a website that suits your needs, not your users. Find out what your end users value and how they want to interface with your digital coms. Ask us how we can help you to map your users’ experience to make your campaigns, websites and apps more engaging.

You can also read more about our user-centric methodology here.


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