IDF – Web Communication Course – Question 2
Continuing with our questions posed by the Interactive Design Foundation
See IDF Web Comm – First Questions for the first set of questions that we couldn’t handle.
IDF question: “What are the values of your target audience?”
Poor AW & BW take a desperate stab at an answer:
Our target audience is somewhat aware of both their need for True Goodness as the ultimate bedrock and guide for their thoughts and actions and the dangers inherent in either over- or under-stating their own insight into True Goodness. However, very few people are all that wise, so (since we’re looking to engage more than a couple dozen people) the vast majority of our audience will still be mostly caught up in their longings for worldly success: material wealth, romance, friends, fun, prestige, a job they love. They value True Goodness and want to do what is right, but they only kind of wish their desire to follow True Goodness was strong enough to overtake their lives and lead them into spiritual blessedness–as they cannot shake the nagging fear that spiritual blessedness may mean they have to want to give up things they currently really really don’t want to give up.
IDF relentlessly asking questions:
“How can you construct a message and messenger that seem to reflect the values of that demographic? Considerations:
How much humor is appropriate and what type?
How much slang is appropriate and what type?
What should the messenger be wearing? Consider levels of
Formality of attire, and
Degree of crispness of attire
What is the typical rate of speech within that demographic? (slow and measured? Or quick and energetic?)
How much vocal pitch variation is most appropriate for this demographic? (mostly even, or highly varied?)”
BW & AW give it their best:
But you see, the element within human beings that we–same as any half-way decent company–want to target does not want to be tricked. We don’t want to trick anyone. We don’t want to “seem” to be anything we are not. I suppose our readers will appreciate humor so long as it is kind-hearted. The project is a literary one, so slang is fine if it is artistically well-founded. There will be no pictures of real people, and the value of all images will depend upon their whimsy: how gentle is their touch and how much do they admit that we are all in this together? Look at the title of the book: A young boy, masterly painted in dark colors and soft-edges, wearing clothes and hair outdated by a couple centuries, looks thoughtfully ahead, the thumb of his writing hand on his pale round chin. It says: “Return with us to those thrilling tales of yesteryear!” It says: “and what of melancholy, tired old Europe?! Aren’t we all just flickers of light upon strange rivers?” The rate of speech of our demographic is not uniform. Nor is the vocal pitch variation.
IDF wants to know: “How can you construct and present a messenger that makes your audience comfortable and want to trust you”
The messenger must admit what we are trying to accomplish: create beautiful, interesting, worthwhile thought, art, and fun; but also create a revenue stream with these creations, so we can spend more time creating and wondering at it all. It must also admit our misgivings: why should people spend their precious time, focus, and even a bit of money on us? Aren’t we somewhat lying about our goals? Don’t we to some degree desire accolades, great wealth, hot babes? Naturally, such desires flow through all of us, but the question is: how much are they driving our actions? How can the messenger be kind to both our readership and ourselves? Go easy, be well-organized, not overwhelm people with haphazard sketches.
Questions posed in the Interactive Design Foundation’s Web Communication course.
Answers from Bartleby Willard and Andy Watson, who just don’t know what to do–they really don’t.