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Meet your audience where they are

All your content is for someone. Knowing who they are and what they need helps you design for them.

Why this is important

When you write with your audience in mind, your content is more likely to be useful to them. Content designed with an audience in mind makes people feel like they’re heard and understood.

When content meets an audience where they are, it reduces the struggle to complete tasks. The audience’s cognitive burden is lower and they’re more pleased with their experience.

Meeting the audience where they are shifts the burden of understanding processes from the user back to the government, where it belongs. It puts the “serve” back in “services.”

How to do this in your writing

Think about things like:

  • Do people come to this content as part of a larger process? Processes can span multiple agencies.
  • What friction points exist in the process? Highlight how to work through them if you cannot solve them.
  • Does your audience have concerns that would block them from using your service? Address them.

Do not assume you know everything about your audience and what they need. Work with user researchers to understand who your users are and how well they can complete tasks on your website. You may discover audiences and needs you do not know about.

If possible, test your content with your audience before publishing it. Even if you only talk to one or two people, you can learn things you can use to improve your content.

You cannot cover every situation or fix every aspect of a service. Focus on what you can do with content to make things better.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics tracks user behavior on websites. It’s an easy way to learn about your audience and how well you’re meeting their needs. Performing full user research is important, but Google Analytics can answer a lot of questions without having to interview people.

Talk with your web engineers about enabling Google Analytics on your website.