Researching Design Preferences Of Your Target Audience

Vasily Malyshev

Creating a great design for a target audience can be a headache for many app enthusiasts. This happens because designers often have their view on the project; they feel it differently than the project manager or the business owner they are working with. That is why it is incredibly important to focus specifically on the target audience, and not on the designer’s or owner’s intuition when creating a style for the app.

Again — it may seem to you that a designer creates designs based on intuition, only having summarized information about the product or brand and the client’s customer base. However, that should not be the case with the app or web design. Before a designer starts sketching a concept and delves into any design tool, he must plan out for whom they are designing. The designer also has to think of the overall message to which the design product is contributing.

Designing for target audience

What about the target audience?

In addition to knowing your audience’s social data demographics – age, gender, location, etc. – you need to discover what makes them tick. You need to answer the following questions about your target audience:

  • Who are they?
  • What drives them?
  • What are their beliefs and values?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What products do your future users use?

Try to create a buyer persona — a perfect person who would represent an ideal member of your target audience. You will also have to think of segmenting your target audience, depending on the scenarios they are going to use your app.  Do not forget to think about the devices your users would typically use — are these smartphones or laptops? iOS or Android? And what is the screen size?

Creative part

This is where the most creative part comes in — and that is creating a mood board. The mood board has to include some of your favorite visuals such as logos, brandbooks, and designs of the companies your potential users adore. You should also think of colors that are psychologically connected to your ideal target audience and their behavioral patterns.

Think carefully about your audience when selecting imagery for your app. A younger audience will love graphics, animations, and other media. The older ones, who are less computer-savvy or may not have a fast broadband connection, will be annoyed by such an approach.

Finally, think about how good it feels when a friend turns up at your house with your favorite food. You’re delighted. Can you add the same feeling of surprise and delight to your app? Introduce a fun or essential factor that will surprise and delight your users. This will make them more likely to remember your app and become repeat visitors. People like to work with companies that make them feel happy and comfortable. Try to put a smile on their faces, and you’re more likely to turn them from visitors to customers.

Good examples can be the Easter Eggs from different software developers, such as Google in Android. If you tapped on the “Android version” part of the menu for several times, you could find some animation or game in each new version of Android.

Content Layout

Content layout

At this stage, you will have to talk to your possible users about the content layout. Think of where your content will be positioned on the page.  Do you want to have a simple app that will identically copy iOS/Android design style, or are there any specific requirements? Do you want to have a simple app header that scrolls with the content or there should be any fancy scroll effects? Also, do not forget that primary content should remain clear at its default size. Do not make your users scroll horizontally to read the relevant text, or zoom to see important images.

Make the most meaningful content the largest in your interface because bigger items always catch the viewer’s eye first. It is also important that larger items are more comfortable to tap. It also would be best if your app is optimized for both portrait and landscape orientations. Different users have different user scenarios, some prefer landscape mode, and some — the portrait one.

Align your content elements — this will ease scanning and communication with your users. Alignment helps your app stay neat and tidy; it also makes it easier to find information. You can also align your content to make it look related.

Color scheme

The next step you would typically do is choosing a color scheme for your app. The color scheme depends heavily on the target audience, Start with one single brand color, since according to a lot of research, a specific color usage increases brand recognition by 80%. IIt is excellent if your color palette generally matches your app’s logo. With the introduction of light and dark modes on both Android and iOS (finally!), it is also recommended that the palette you choose would look great on both backgrounds.

It is also important that your color would match the emotion you want to trigger within your target audience.

  • Red stands for aggressive and essential;
  • Orange may be seen as playful, energetic, and cheap;
  • Yellow can be used to explain happiness, friendliness but also warning;
  • Green is nature-connected, a stable, and a prosperous color;
  • Blue is there for trustworthy and dependable products;
  • Purple is typically associated with creativity and mystery;
  • Pink is connected to youth, feminism, and innocence;
  • Black product is robust, sophisticated, and edgy;
  • White is clean, virtuous, and healthy.
Brand color psychology

What are the essential points to cover when working on a color scheme?

  • Understand how color connects to people’s emotions;
  • Link your demographics to color psychology studies;
  • Take the color quiz yourself; ask your target audience research group to do the same;
  • Let your biases go away — you are not the only one to like your website!
  • Decide on main, secondary, and accent colors. Use the 60-30-10 scheme, when 60% of the page is colored into a noticeable color, 30% — in the secondary, and 10% are left for the accents;
  • Choose your set of colors — is it mostly dark with light accents or light with dark accents?
  • Consult the color wheel to choose a proper color combination;
  • Check out the competitors’ color schemes and try not to copy these!

Choosing a font

The next point in creating a good design for a selected target audience is choosing a font. The typeface you choose could have an incredible impact on the way a brand is perceived on the market.

Functionality must be the most important part of your app. Think of that they typeface you choose will be on most of the marketing materials you are going to include in the product’s promo. Social media, website, app, and other channels usually are on this list. It is an incredible gift to find a typeface that would balance between strong brand identity, legibility, and functionality. A good option would be a type font family with many weights and styles available so that you could use it in different situations. Do not rush to use the trendiest fonts available; check whether your brand’s identity can hop on the trends’ wagon first. The design trends of the day may look great, but if your brand voice is lost, then you do not have to work with these. What impression do you want to make on your clients? What qualities and emotions should the app reflect? These are the most critical questions in choosing a typeface and not the market trends.


Let’s do a summary of how to create a design for your target audience:

  • Research the target audience (this does not only include demographics);
  • Create a mood board;
  • Layout the content;
  • Choose the correct color scheme;
  • Choose a font.

These steps may seem hard if you are trying to design the app on your own. If so, feel free to contact Messapps via this link, and our design team will come to help!